- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Navy says sea trials will begin in March for the first of its new class of aircraft carriers.

Capt. Thurraya Kent said Wednesday in a statement that the USS Gerald R. Ford is “99 percent complete.” The announcement follows cost overruns and a delay of more than a year for the $12.9 billion warship.

Construction was supposed to finish by September 2015, with costs at $10.5 billion. But there were issues with the carrier’s advanced systems and technology, including aircraft landing equipment and power generation. The Navy said “significant progress” has been made toward resolving those issues.

The new generation of carriers will replace the Nimitz-class ships. Construction on the Ford started in 2009 at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News.

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