Speaking at the ship’s launch in Norfolk, Virginia, the US president said: ‘I hereby place United States Ship Gerald R Ford in commission.
‘May God bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her.’
He was followed by Susan Ford Bales, the ship’s sponsor and daughter of its namesake Gerald R Ford, the US’s 38th president.
‘I am honoured to give the command: “Officers and crew of the United States Gerald R Ford, man our ship and bring her to life”.’
Trump arrived aboard the carrier’s steamy flight deck by the Marine One presidential helicopter, and was greeted by defence secretary Jim Mattis, as well as other officials.
Construction on the warship started in 2009, and was supposed to be completed in September 2015 at a cost of £8billion.
The US Navy has attributed the delays and budget overruns to the ship’s state-of-the-art systems and technology, including electromagnetic launch systems for jets and drones that will replace steam catapults.
In an interview with Time magazine earlier this year, Trump said the Navy should go back to using steam catapults to launch fighter jets because the systems aboard the USS Ford ‘costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good’.
Despite these comments, Trump was later full of praise for the vessel.
‘This is American craftsmanship at its biggest, at its best, at its finest,’ he said aboard the carrier during a previous visit.
‘American workers are the greatest anywhere in the world. This warship, and all who serve on it, should be a source of shared pride for our nation.’