The newly-commissioned USS Ford (CVN 78) recovered and launched its first aircraft less than a week after commissioning. And while that achievement is all well and good, don't get too carried away by the hype.
Wait for the Ford's first deployment before really cheering this new carrier and all its new tech. As I told Project on Government Oversight's Mark Thompson:
The post-commissioning air op hasn't swayed skeptics. “The proof that this launch and recovery solution is THE solution won't come in a showpiece set of one or two demonstration launches,” says Craig Hooper, a naval expert and senior analyst with Gryphon Scientific in Takoma Park, Md. “It'll be when they show Ford can do this thousands of times while going few days without breaking either the launch or the recovery systems.”