US Nimitz Class Carriers: News, Pics, INfo


Jeff Head

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Staff member
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We have needed a thread about these critical carriers for some time...so I thought I would add it.

The Nimitz class aircraft carriers are the largest warships ever built (until the new
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). They are the mainstay of the US Navy's power projection and sea lane protection capabilities. Each of these vessels carries an multi-role air wing that is larger and more powerful than many nation's complete air force. By having the resources, the experience, and the capability to build and operate ten of these vessels in class (where each vessel is surrounded by an extensive force of other surface and sub-surface combatants that make up each Carrier Strike Group (CSG), usually consisting of at least one
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, two to three
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, and one
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), the United States remains the dominant sea force on earth.

The initial vessel, and namesake of the class, the USS Nimitz, CVN-68, was launched May 13, 1972 and commissioned May 3, 1975. As the first in class, with all the new features, she took some time to go through trials and get all worked up ready for commission. After that they would commission quicker, usually two or less years after launch, except the last in class, which was a transitional carrier to the next new class. Since the time the Nimitz was commissioned, nine more have been built, with the latest being the USS George H.W. Bush (after the 41st President of the United states) which was launched October 9, 2006 and commissioned January 10, 2009, 27 months later.

The ten vessels in class are:

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This page and the next will show pictures of each of the ten, starting from the first, the USS Nimitz, and proceeding until the last, the USS George H.W. Bush.


nimitz68-01.jpg
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nimitz69-01.jpg
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nimitz71-01.jpg
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nimitz72-01.jpg
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nimitz70-01.jpg
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Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
I will cover some of the important characteristics of US Navy Nimitz class carriers in the next two posts.

These have been optimized over the decades to arrive at the best basic configuration.

VERY LARGE SIZE
A Nimitz class carrier is very large. They are nearly 1,1000 feet long, and on the flight deck, they are over 250 feet wide. They carry over 5,000 people. I posted ten pictures of the carriers which display this very adequately...take a look at them.

NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
A US Nimitz class carrier is nuclear powered. These power plants, which convert the phenomenal energy of a nuclear reaction into power, allow the US Nimitz class carriers to go very fast (classified top speed, but well in excess of 32 knots), and to not need refueling. While it is true that they still need to be refurbished for food, water, and armament, the flexibility to be able to travel as long as possible allows these vessels to really...get around..

This size allows for the optimal air wing, the optimal launching and recovery cycles and capabilities...and in essence, is what allows a Nimitz class carrier to sortie its large number of aircraft more rapidly, more sustained, and in larger numbers than anyone else in the world.

Nimitz-AngleDeck.jpg
LARGE ANGLED DECK
Because of the size of it, and the angled nature of the landing deck, it makes simultaneously launching and recovery of aircraft possible...and in high volume

Nimitz-cats.jpg

POWERFUL, RELIABLE STEAM CATAPULTS X 4
The Nimitz class has four large, powerful, and reliable catapults. Two at the bow and two at the waist, which make the launching of all sorts of aircraft possible, up to and including the E-2D Hawkeye. And it makes large air operations, at high tempo possible.

Nimitz-RECOVERY.jpg

PROVEN, RELIABLE AICRAFT RECOVEWRY SYSTEMS
Nimitz class carriers have high technology aircraft landing systems, able to automate most landing sequences. They also have a proven arrestor system for trapping aircraft with arrestor wires when they land. In addition, the carrier crew regularly exercises and trains on the erection of barriers to catch aircraft should they either have mechanical problems when landing, or should a arresting wire fail.

NImitz-elevators.jpg

LARGE, POWERFUL ELEVATORS X 4
Nimitz class carriers have four very large and powerful elevators to move aircraft from the large hangar deck to the flight deck. This allows those large, high tempo operations to be supported with aircraft from the hanger...and moving them to the hanger.

Nimitz-hanger.jpg

VERY LARGE, SPACIOUS HANGAR DECK
US Nimitz class carriers have huge hanger decks by any standard. They all ofr a large number of aircraft to be kept out of the weather below the flight deck, and for those aircraft to be maintained and repaired there.[/CENTER]
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Interesting for get a better idea have several data and comparisons.
For this data in general only in specialised Book/Magazines for me Flottes de Combat and this
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120 pages 3rd part on the US CV begin with Langley, excellent !

Nimitz are the more big combat ships bever build but mainly have only two nucleators reactors allowing them to embark more ammunition/Fuel aviation that Enterprise which had 8 reactors and much more as CV Forrestal/Kitty Hawk which have need carry fuel for their own conventionnal propulsion :

Logistic qty :
Kitty Hawk : Ammo 2150 t, fuel av JP-5 5800 t, ship fuel 7800 t
Enterprise : 2500 t, 8500 t
Nimitz three first : 8500 t, 3000 t
Nimitz last : 9000 t, 3000 t a little more big seems hull higher draught 11,7 m vs 11,3 m
16 days air operations with it.

In more as Charles De Gaule presumably carry fuel for ships, CDG 1000 t very possible three times this for Nimitz.

Flight deck :
Nimitz : 22000 m2.
Enterprise : 18400
Kitty Hawk : 16/17000

Hangar :
Kitty Hawk : 225,5 x 30,8 x 7.6 : 6950 m2
Enterprise : 262.2 x 32.6 x 7.6 : 8500 m2
Nimitz : 275 x 33 x 7,6 : 9000 m2

Cats :
Nimitz/Enterprise : 4 x C-13 mod 1, 94.5 m
Kitty Hawk : also C-13, 90 m

Oblique track :
Nimitz : 237,7 x 25
Enterprise : 230
Kitty Hawk : 227
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Homeports, Fleet :
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, Kitsap-Bremerton, 3rd Fleet
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, Norfolk, 2nd,
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, San Diego, 3rd
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, Norfolk, 2nd
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, Norfolk, 2nd,
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, Yokosuka, 7th
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, Kitsap-Bremerton, 3rd
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, Norfolk, 2nd
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, San Diego, 3rd
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, Norfolk, 2nd

Some changes for end of year.
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Interesting for get a better idea have
Hangar :
Kitty Hawk : 225,5 x 30,8 x 7.6 : 6950 m2
Enterprise : 262.2 x 32.6 x 7.6 : 8500 m2
Nimitz : 275 x 33 x 7,6 : 9000 m2
False length and widely ! Flottes de Combat !
Nimitz : 206.5 x 33 x 7,6

Jeff please if you have for others i think about 202/205 m ?

US nimitz-hangar-.jpg
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CAW/Air operations :
Can carry maximum 90 aircrafts whose 40/45 in the hangar.
Actually in general 44 F-18E/F, 5 E-2C/D, 5 EA-18G, 7 SH-60F/HH-60H/MH-60R/S, 2 C-2A total 63.

During 80s carry : 24 F-14, 24 A-7/F-18, 16 A-6/KA-6, 4 E-2, 4 EA-6, 6 SH-3, 10 S-3, 2 C-2 : total 90 !

With her 4 cats can launched 30 aircrafts in 10 mn, one by mn by cat.

Possible simultaneous landings and catapult-launching impossible on others CDG, Kuznetsov class cat or starting position being on the oblique track

Armament
Depends ships : 0/3 Phalanx, 2 RAM with 42 missiles and 2/3 Mk 29 with each 24 missiles ( 8 on + 16 reloads ).

Flight deck/Hull :
As the hull high strength steel covered with two layers of Kevlar under the non-skid coating,
Hull/Deck in steel plates high resistance of several tens of centimeters, submerged part of the hull consists is made up a double envelope separated by vacuum to attenuate shock waves.
Then ship extremely durable !

3/4 arrestor wires changed every 125 hangings.
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
US Nimitz.jpg


NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
Reactors A4W
Power: 104 MWTh or 130,000-140,000 SHP, 2 reactors 260000/280000 SHP
Life for the three first Nimitz before modernization 13 years after and also for the 7 last ships 25 years.

Enterprise
Reactors A2W
Power: 120 MWth or 35,000 SHP, 8 reactors; 280,000 SHP


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Elevators :
4 size : 25.9 x 15.8 m for 47 t
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
Reactors A4W
Power: 104 MWTh or 130,000-140,000 SHP, 2 reactors 260000/280000 SHP
Life for the three first Nimitz before modernization 13 years after and also for the 7 last ships 25 years.

Enterprise
Reactors A2W
Power: 120 MWth or 35,000 SHP, 8 reactors; 280,000 SHP
Well, this is why those first four Ford class carriers are deemed very important.

They are needed to replace the Enterprise and the first three Nimitz class whose nuclear reactors require core refueling more often. I know that the US Navy wants to hurry and get them replaced with the Fords where the refueling time significantly increased.

The Enterprise A2W reactors required cores to be refueled at varying times as core design was improved. I think the first was after 3 years. Then at the second refueling, seven years later in 1971, her cores were improved to last ten years between refueling.

All of the Nimitz A4W nuclear reactor cores have core refueling after 25 years. Originally the design was for 13 years, to be improved to 25 years...but the improvements made it into the Nimitz and ever carrier after.

Initially, the Ford A1B reactor will have a core life of 30 years...but they hope to improve it to be as long as the service life of the vessels.
 
Last edited:

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
core design was improved
For what reason(s) reactors get a life more long, more big numbers of bars/Uranium qty or new reactors use less uranium or ...in fact how at the begining a reactor had a life of 1/3 year and now up to 30/50 ?

I think have numbers for Enterprise.
 

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