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Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
of the United States Navy

Date Deployed:
May 3, 1975 (USS Nimitz).
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, VA.
Complement: Ship's Company: 3,200
Air Wing: 2,480.
 
Displacement:Approximately 97,000 tons (87,996.9 metric tons) full load.
Length: 1,092 feet (332.85 meters).
Beam: 134 feet (40.84 meters); Flight Deck Width: 252 feet (76.8 meters).
Draft: 11.9m (CVN 72-76)
 
Propulsion: Two nuclear reactors,
four shafts.
Speed: 30+ knots
(34.5+ miles per hour).
Range: Virtually unlimited
Navy site
More info.
The 10 Nimitz class aircraft carriers are the largest warships in the world, each designed for an approximately 50 year service life with one mid-life refueling.
USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) have all completed their Refueling Complex Overhauls (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News, Va., with USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) commencing RCOH in 2009.

The next generation of aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford class (CVN 78) was ordered in 2008 and is slated to be delivered in 2015 to replace USS Enterprise (CVN 65).

USS Carl Vinson
The NIMITZ-class carriers are a floating airport, capable of launching as many as four aircraft a minute. The ship's four catapults and four arresting gear engines enable her to launch and recover aircraft rapidly and simultaneously. The ships carry seven different types of aircraft with a total complement of more than 80 planes.

During flight operations, the flight deck of 4.5 acres is a scene of intense activity, with crew, aircraft and other equipment functioning as a well-rehearsed and carefully choreographed team to ensure both efficiency and safety.

Four aircraft elevators, each the size of two average city lots, bring the aircraft to the flight deck from the hangars below. Small tractors spot the planes on the flight deck. Aviation fuel is pumped up from tanks below, and bombs and rockets are brought up from the magazines.
Ships:
USS Theodore Roosevelt
USS Nimitz (CVN 68), San Diego, CA
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), Norfolk, VA
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Newport News, VA
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Norfolk, VA
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), Everett, WA
USS George Washington (CVN 73), Yokosuka, Japan
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Bremerton, WA
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Norfolk, VA
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), San Diego, CA
USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Norfolk, V
Armament:
The NIMITZ-class self-defense measures include: missiles, guns, and electronic warfare. The NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System is comprised of two launchers with eight missiles each.
Sea Sparrow is a radar-guided, short-to-medium range missile capable of engaging aircraft and cruise missiles.
NIMITZ-class also has Close-In Weapon System mounts for short range defense against aircraft or missiles.
Each mount has its own search and track radar, and a six-barrel, 20-millimeter Gatling gun capable of firing 3,000 rounds per minute
  Sensors  
Air search radars include the ITT SPS-48E 3-D, operating at E/F-band; Raytheon SPS49(V)5, C/D-band; and Raytheon mk23 TAS, D-band. Surface search radar is the Northrop Grumman Norden Systems SPS-67V, operating at G-band.
Combat systems

The carriers' combat data systems are based around the block 0 or 1 naval tactical and advanced combat direction system (ACDS) with communications links 4A, 11, 14, and 16. Weapons control is managed by three mk91 mod 1 MFCS directors for the Sea Sparrow missile.
USS Nimitz, USS Ronald Reagan and USS John Stennis have been fitted with the SSDS mk2 mod 0 ship self-defence system, developed by Raytheon. The SSDS will provide automated self-defence against anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) by integrating and coordinating the ship's weapon and electronic warfare systems.
USS Nimitz has also been fitted with the Lockheed Martin TIS (tactical input segment) digital reconnaissance processing system, which can receive real-time imagery from airborne sensors.

Aircraft carried: 85
The 50 TACAIR air wing includes up to 82 aircraft.
Typically this would be
:
12 F/A-18E/F Hornets,
36 F/A-18 Hornets,
Four E-2C Hawkeyes,
Four EA-6B Prowlers fixed-wing;
Helicopters:
Four SH-60F
Two HH-60H Seahawks.
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

The S-3B Viking is to be
decommissioned in 2009.
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History:
The NIMITZ-class carriers are a floating airport, capable of launching as many as four aircraft a minute. The ship's four catapults and four arresting gear engines enable her to launch and recover aircraft rapidly and simultaneously. The ships carry seven different types of aircraft with a total complement of more than 80 planes.

During flight operations, the flight deck of 4.5 acres is a scene of intense activity, with crew, aircraft and other equipment functioning as a well-rehearsed and carefully choreographed team to ensure both efficiency and safety.

Four aircraft elevators, each the size of two average city lots, bring the aircraft to the flight deck from the hangars below. Small tractors spot the planes on the flight deck. Aviation fuel is pumped up from tanks below, and bombs and rockets are brought up from the magazines.
Powerful steam catapults (affectionately known as "Fat Cats") can accelerate 37-ton jets from zero to a safe flight speed of up to 180 miles per hour in about 300 feet and in less than three seconds.
The weight of each aircraft determines the amount of thrust provided by the catapult. When landing, pilots use a system of lenses to guide the aircraft "down the slope," the correct glide path for landing.
The four arresting wires, each consisting of two-inch thick wire cables connected to hydraulic rams below decks, drag landing aircraft going as fast as 150 miles per hour to a stop in less than 400 feet.
High in the island, seven stories above the flight deck, the "Air Boss" and his staff coordinate the entire operation, which is carefully monitored from the flight deck level as well as by the Captain on the ship's bridge.
The various functions of the flight deck crew are identified by the colors they wear: yellow for officers and aircraft directors; purple for fuel handlers; green for catapult and arresting gear crews; blue for tractor drivers; brown for chock and chain runners; and red for crash and salvage teams and the ordnance handlers.
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USS Nimitz

The carrier's two nuclear reactors give her virtually unlimited range and endurance and a top speed in excess of 30 knots. Eight steam turbine generators each produce 8,000 kilowatts of electrical power, enough to serve a small city.

The ship has enough electrical generating power to supply electricity to a city of 100,000. The ships normally carrys enough food and supplies to operate for 90 days.
Four distilling units enable NIMITZ-class engineers to make over 400,000 gallons of fresh water from seawater a day, for use by the propulsion plants, catapults and crew

The ship carries approximately 3 million gallons of fuel for her aircraft and escorts, and enough weapons and stores for extended operations without replenishment. These ships also have extensive repair capabilities, including a fully equipped Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, a micro-miniature electronics repair shop, and numerous ship repair shops.

Keeping a NIMITZ-class carrier ready at all times requires repair shops to maintain machinery and aircraft, heavy duty tailor shops to repair parachutes and other survival gear, and electronic ships that keep communication, navigation and avionics equipment in good condition.
NIMITZ-class carriers boast all the amenities that would be found in any American city with a comparable population, including a post office with its own ZIP code, TV and radio stations, a newspaper, a fire department, a library, a hospital, a general store, two barbershops and much more.

year-long period of maintenance and overhaul work. The ship returned to its homeport in Norfolk, Va. Work performed on Roosevelt included the replacement of all four ship propellers, blasting and painting of the hull, major renovations of onboard storage tanks and miscellaneous systems upgrades.

The USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) joined the fleet in 1990 as, concurrently, USS Coral Sea (CV 43) was decommissioned. USS Abraham Lincoln underwent a one-year comprehensive overhaul and a change of homeport from Alameida, Calif. to Everett, Wash. since its last major deployment in 1995.

On 11 June 1998 USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) departed Naval Station Everett to the Arabian Gulf and back over a six-month period, the ship's fourth major Western Pacific deployment.


USS Ronald Reagan
CVN 73, 74 and 75 were authorized to replace conventionally powered carriers as they retired in the 1990s.
The Congress authorized full funding in 1988 for CVN 74 and 75. These ships are modified repeats of CVN 73.

The keel of USS Harry S. Truman was laid 29 November 1993 and the ship was christened at Newport News on 07 September 1996.


USS John C. Stennis

Harry S Truman (CVN 75) completed acceptance sea trials on 24 June 1998, was delivered to the US Navy a few days later.
The ship was commissioned and put into active service on 25 July 1998 at the Norfolk Naval Base in Norfolk, VA. At that time, the Navy's oldest active commissioned ship, Independence (CV 62), transitioned to the inactive fleet.

CVN 76's keel has been laid for a 2002 delivery, and CVN 77 will enter the fleet in 2008, as the two remaining Kitty Hawk-class carriers are retired. CVN 77 will act as a transition ship toward CVX, incorporating numerous new technologies and process design changes that will move naval aviation to a future carrier design.

Technological improvements will begin to be seen in CVN-76 RONALD REAGAN, which will be commissioned in 2002. REAGAN will have a redesigned bulbous bow for increased propulsion efficiency and trim stability. Her aircraft elevators will also have greater capacity then those currently in use aboard her sister ships.

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