USS Nimitz CVN-68

Aircraft “Supercarrier” | Nimitz Class

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is a supercarrier of the United States Navy, and the lead ship of her class. One of the largest warships in the world, she was laid down, launched and commissioned as CVAN-68 but was redesignated CVN 68 (nuclear-powered multimission aircraft carrier) on 30 June 1975 as part of the fleet realignment.

The ship was named for World War II Pacific fleet commander Chester W. Nimitz, who was the Navy’s third fleet admiral. Nimitz had her homeport at Naval Station Norfolk until 1987, when she was relocated to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. Following her Refueling and Complex Overhaul in 2001, her homeport was changed to NAS North Island in San Diego, California. The home port of Nimitz was again moved to Naval Station Everett in 2012.

In January 2015 Nimitz changed homeport from Naval Station Everett to Naval Base Kitsap.[4]

General and specialized information

Name Namesake Ordered Awarded Builder
USS Nimitz FADM Chester W. Nimitz, USN March 31, 1967 N/A NNewport News Shipbuilding
Cost Laid down Sponsored by Christened Launched
$1 billion June 22, 1968 N/A N/A May 13 1972
Commissioned Homeport Motto Knickname Current Status
May 3, 1975 NS Kitsap, Washington – USA Teamwork, A Tradition Old Salt Active – January 2017

General characteristics

Class and type:
Displacement: 102,000 long tons (114,000 short tons)[3]
Length:
  • Overall: 1,092 feet (332.8 m)
  • Waterline: 1,040 feet (317.0 m)
Beam:
  • Overall: 252 ft (76.8 m)
  • Waterline: 134 ft (40.8 m)
Draft:
  • Maximum navigational: 37 feet (11.3 m)
  • Limit: 41 feet (12.5 m)
Propulsion:
Speed: 30+ knots (56+ km/h; 35+ mph)
Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
Complement:
  • Ship’s company: 3,200
  • Air wing: 2,480

Systems and Armament

Sensors and
processing systems:
  • SPS-48E 3-D air search radar
  • SPS-49A(V)1 2-D air search radar
  • SPQ-9B fire control radar
  • 2 × SPN-46 air traffic control radars
  • SPN-43C air traffic control radar
  • SPN-41 instrument landing system radar
  • 3 × Mk 91 NSSM guidance systems
  • 3 × Mk 95 radars
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • SLQ-32A(V)4 Countermeasures suite
  • SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasures
Armament:
Armor: 2.5 in (64 mm) Kevlar over vital spaces[5]
Aircraft carried: 90 fixed wing and helicopters

Nimitz was authorized by Congress in fiscal year 1967 and Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. in Newport News, Virginia was awarded the $106.5 million (equivalent to $764.95 million today). The keel was laid down 22 June 1968. It was christened on 13 May 1972 by Catherine Nimitz Lay, the daughter of the late Admiral Nimitz. Nimitz was delivered to the Navy in 1975, and was commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk on 3 May 1975 by President Gerald Ford.[5]

Overhauls
  • October 1975 to December 1975 – Post Shakedown Availability
  • May 1977 to July 1977 – Selected Restricted Availability
  • October 1978 to January 1979 – Selected Restricted Availability
  • October 1980 to January 1981 – Selected Restricted Availability
  • April 1982 to June 1982 – Selected Restricted Availability – waist catapult bridle catcher removed.
  • June 1983 to July 1984 – Complex Overhaul – forward port sponson added; Mk-25 BPDM replaced with Mk-29; 3 CIWS added.
  • November 1985 to March 1986 – Selected Restricted Availability – forward port sponson changed/enlarged.
  • August 1987 to February 1988 – Selected Restricted Availability
  • August 1989 to March 1990 – Selected Restricted Availability
  • October 1991 to May 1992 – Selected Restricted Availability
  • December 1993 to January 1995 – Selected Restricted Availability – port bow catapult bridal removed.
  • June 1996 to January 1997 – Selected Restricted Availability
  • May 1998 to June 2001 – Refueling and Complex Overhaul – starboard bow catapult bridal removed; top two levels of the island replaced; new antenna mast; new radar tower; 2 RAM replace 1 CIWS/1 Mk-29 at forward port sponson/aft starboard sponson; 2 CIWS at island/stern removed.
  • February 2004 to August 2004 – Planned Incremental Availability – catwalk grating was replaced and flight deck resurfaced.
  • March 2006 to September 2006 – Planned Incremental Availability
  • July 2008 to January 2009 – Planned Incremental Availability
  • November 2010 to March 2012 – Planned Incremental Availability – 2 CIWS added to forward starboard sponson enlargement/new port stern sponson.

Service history[edit]

1970s[edit]

Nimitz on her first deployment in 1976 alongside California and South Carolina

Nimitz (right) alongside HMS Ark Royal at Norfolk Naval Station in August 1978

USS Nimitz first deployed to the Mediterranean Sea on 7 July 1976 with Carrier Air Wing 8 embarked in company with the nuclear-powered cruisers USS South Carolina and USS California. In November 1976, Nimitz was awarded the Battle “E” from Commander, Naval Air Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet, for being the most efficient and foremost aircraft carrier in the Atlantic Fleet. The cruise was uneventful, and the carrier returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 7 February 1977.

A second uneventful Mediterranean cruise was conducted from 1 December 1977 to 20 July 1978. The third deployment began on 10 September 1979 to the Mediterranean. The ship moved to the Indian Ocean in response to the Iran hostage crisis in which the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, was overtaken and 52 hostages were held. Prior to this trip, the ship took part in the shooting of the 1980 film The Final Countdown, whose story was specifically set aboard the Nimitz. After four months on station, Operation Evening Light was launched from Nimitzs decks in an attempt to rescue the U.S. Embassy staff. The mission was aborted after a helicopter crashed at a refueling point in the Iranian desert. The ship returned home 26 May 1980, having spent 144 days at sea.

1980s[edit]

On 26 May 1981, a Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler assigned to Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW-8) crashed on the flight deck, killing 14 crewmen and injuring 45 others.[7] The Prowler was fuel-critical after a “bolter” (missed approach), and its crash and the subsequent fire and explosions destroyed or damaged nineteen other aircraft.[8][9] Despite having no connection to the accident, the media focused on the autopsy results of several members of the Nimitzs enlisted flight deck crew who were killed, who tested positive for marijuana. As a result, President Ronald Reagan instituted a “Zero Tolerance” drug policy across all of the U.S. armed services, which started the mandatory drug testing of all U.S. military personnel.[10]

Nimitz deployed again to the Mediterranean on 3 August 1981. The ship, in company with USS Forrestal, conducted a Freedom of Navigation exercise in international waters in the Gulf of Sidra near Libya on 18 and 19 August 1981. On the morning of 19 August 1981, two Grumman F-14 Tomcats of VF-41 were engaged by two Libyan MiG-23s, resulting in the two Libyan aircraft being shot down in what became known as the Gulf of Sidra incident.

Nimitzs fourth deployment, from 10 November 1982 to 20 May 1983, was to the Caribbean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Nimitz deployed for a fifth time on 8 March 1985. On 14 June 1985, two Lebanese gunmen hijacked TWA Flight 847, which carried 153 passengers and crew and included Americans. In response, Nimitz was deployed to the coast of Lebanon, where it remained until August 1985. The embarked Airwing 8 flew continuous sorties for 67 days, bombing several sites in Beirut including the runways of Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport. The ship returned to Norfolk on 4 October 1985.

Wreck of an EA-6B Prowler after it crashed during a night landing, 1981

Nimitz, again with CVW-8 embarked, departed Norfolk for its sixth and final Mediterranean deployment on 30 December 1986. After four months and numerous Mediterranean port visits, the carrier crossed the equator en route to Rio de Janeiro. From Rio de Janeiro, it proceeded south around Cape Horn and into the Pacific Ocean. After a brief stop in San Diego, to offload its East Coast air wing, it arrived at its new home port of Bremerton, Washington, on 2 July 1987.

Nimitz deployed to the Western Pacific with Carrier Air Wing 9 embarked on 2 September 1988. During the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Nimitz provided security off the coast of South Korea. In October, it operated in the North Arabian Sea participating in Operation Earnest Will, the protection of reflagged Kuwaiti tankers. On 30 November 1988, while in the Arabian Sea, a 20 mm cannon accidentally fired during maintenance, striking a KA-6 Intruder. The ensuing fire spread to six other aircraft, and two sailors were killed. Nimitz returned to Bremerton on 2 March 1989.

1990s[edit]

On 25 February 1991, Nimitz departed Bremerton for the Persian Gulf in relief of USS Ranger in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm, returning to Bremerton on 24 August 1991. Nimitz again deployed to the Persian Gulf on 1 February 1993, in support of Operation Southern Watch, returning on 1 August 1993.

Nimitz (left) cruising with Independence and Port Royal in the Sea of Japan in September 1997

On 27 November 1995, Nimitz deployed to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf with Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW-9). In March 1996, it patrolled the waters off Taiwan amid missile tests conducted by the Chinese in the area, becoming the first American warship to pass through the Taiwan Strait since 1976. It also cruised the Persian Gulf in support of Southern Watch prior to returning from deployment on 20 May 1996.

Between 14–24 July 1997, Nimitz participated in Joint Task Force Exercise 97-2 (JTFEX 97-2) off the coast of southern California, which also served as a “Revolution in Strike Warfare” demonstration. The latter event was designed to demonstrate the capability of an aircraft carrier and its embarked air wing to project carrier-based airpower into littoral warfare.[5] On 20 July 1997, Nimitz and Carrier Air Wing Nine began a high-intensity strike campaign. When flight operations were completed four days later, Nimitz and Carrier Air Wing Nine had carried out 771 strike sorties while dropping 1,337 bombs on target. Carrier Air Wing Nine flew 975 fixed-wing sorties during this four-day surge operation. Almost 80 percent of the sorties flown were strike sorties, with strike support accounting for another 10 percent. F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters flew nearly 80 percent of the strike sorties. Of the 771 strike sorties, 727 were loaded with ordnance, while 44 were electronic support by EA-6B Prowlers. During this four-day period, only a portion of the medium-range interdiction strikes required tanking support. KC-135 and KC-130 tanker aircraft provided most of this support. S-3 Vikings conducted recovery tanking and supplied more than one-third of the fuel passed to Carrier Air Wing Nine aircraft during this surge operation.[11][12] This surge had been preceded by a 16-hour preparation after undergoing four days that had generated about 700 fixed-winged sorties.[12][13] A following study by the Center for Naval Analyses determined that Nimitz and Carrier Air Wing Nine could have maintained this high-sortie operational tempo for another twelve to twenty-four hours before requiring equipment maintenance, rest for its crews and its ordnance and aviation fuel stocks to be replenished.[14]

On 1 September 1997, Nimitz began an around the world cruise, again supporting Southern Watch, which ended in Newport News, Virginia on 2 March 1998. It next spent the next three years undergoing a nuclear Refueling and Complex Overhaul that ended on 25 June 2001.

2000s[edit]

Monitor showing data about Nimitz

Lt. Cmdr. David Bynum, a Navy chaplain aboard Nimitz, passes out happy face sponge balls to the students of CSI High School for the Deaf in Chennai India during a community relations visit in July 2007.

On 21 September 2001,[15] after sea trials in the Virginia Capes, Nimitz began its transit around South America to its new home port of NAS North Island in San Diego, California, arriving there on 13 November 2001. Aircraft from Carrier Air Reserve Wing 20 were embarked for the transit. From January to May 2002, it underwent a four-month post-shakedown maintenance availability at North Island; during this time Advanced combat direction system was installed.

Nimitzs eleventh operational deployment began on 3 March 2003.[16] It relieved USS Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf in mid-April 2003, launching Carrier Air Wing 11 aircraft sorties over Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). It returned to San Diego on 5 November 2003. Nimitz and CVW-11 were awarded the 2003 Battle “E”[17] and Flatley Award in early 2004.[18]

Nimitz, again with CVW-11 embarked, deployed to the Persian Gulf on 7 May 2005, returning on 8 November 2005.[19] This deployment marked three decades of service, and was depicted in the Emmy award winning 2008 PBS documentary series Carrier.[20] In June 2006, Nimitz was awarded the 2005 Battle “E”.[21]

The carrier departed North Island for its thirteenth deployment on 2 April 2007 to the Arabian Sea, relieving USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in support of OIF.[22] It anchored off Chennai, India on 2 July 2007 as part of efforts to expand bilateral defense cooperation between India and the United States.[23] Sailors participated in community work in Chennai prior to departing, on 5 July 2007, along with the destroyer USS Pinckney towards the Persian Gulf. It returned to North Island on 30 September 2007.[24]

On 24 January 2008, Nimitz deployed to the Pacific for a “surge”-deployment.[25] On 9 February 2008, two Russian Tu-95 ‘Bear’ bombers overflew the carrier in the Western Pacific.[26] Four F/A-18C Hornets were launched when the bombers were 500 miles (800 km) away from the US ships, and intercepted the bombers 50 miles (80 km) south of Nimitz. Two F/A-18s trailed one of the bombers, which twice flew over the deck of the carrier at an altitude of 2,000 feet (610 m), while the other two F/A-18s trailed another Tu-95 circling about 50 miles (80 km) away from the carrier. Reportedly, there was no radio communication between the American and Russian aircraft. According to the Department of Defense, one of the two aircraft was said to have flown above Nimitz at an altitude of 2,000 feet (610 m). On the same day, Russian aircraft entered Japanese airspace, which caused the Japanese to raise protest to the Russian ambassador in Tokyo.[27]

Again, on 5 March 2008, a Russian bomber came within 3 to 5 nautical miles (6 to 9 km) and flew 2,000 feet (610 m) above Nimitz and its battle group. Two F/A-18 fighters intercepted the Russian aircraft and escorted it out of the area.[26]

Nimitz was awarded the Navy Battle “E” for battle efficiency for 2007 along with the Ney award for food service excellence. It returned to its home port of San Diego on 3 June 2008.

The Nimitz Strike Group, including CVW-11, departed the States for a scheduled Western Pacific deployment on 31 July 2009,[28] and began to fly combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 21 September.[29]

2010s[edit]

An MV-22 Osprey of VMM-165 lands on Nimitz in October 2012.

In January 2010, while in the Persian Gulf, the ship was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its back-to-back deployments in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. The award was presented by Admiral Gary Roughead in a ceremony on the ship 6 January 2010.[30]

Nimitz visited Hong Kong for five days in February 2010 to allow its crew to rest and visit the city. The visit occurred despite China previously preventing a visit by the carrier USS Kitty Hawk.[31][32]

On 9 December 2010, the Navy formally announced that Everett, Washington was to be the new home port for Nimitz.[33] This move was expected to save the Navy $100 million.[34] On 9 March 2012, Nimitz arrived at its new homeport of Naval Station Everett after spending nearly a week at sea conducting post overhaul sea trials.[35]

In March 2012, Nimitz arrived at its new home port of Naval Station Everett in Washington state after more than a year of maintenance work in Bremerton. It replaced the Nimitz-class carrier, Abraham Lincoln.[36] On 3 August 2012, Nimitz departed from Pearl Harbor after a two-day port call, arriving at NAS North Island on 9 August 2012 to begin Fleet Replacement Squadron carrier qualifications.[15] On 6 October 2012, a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft from squadron VMM-165 landed and refuelled on board Nimitz. This operation was part of an evaluation of the feasibility of the MV-22 as a potential replacement for the C-2 Greyhound carrier onboard delivery (COD) cargo transport aircraft.[37][38]

A C-2 Greyhound of VRC-30 and an F-35C Lightning II of VX-23 ready for launching from Nimitz in November 2014; a second F-35C and an F/A-18F Super Hornet sit behind the catapults.

The BBC reported that Nimitz was located in the Persian Gulf, ready to contribute to an operation against Syria when President Obama ordered a military strike. Two days later it was reported said that the carrier and its task group had been re-routed westwards across the Arabian Sea.[39][40]

It was reported that the ship—in its eighth month out to sea—transited the Suez Canal on 20 October 2013 into the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility, where the Navy intended to keep it for a few weeks conducting joint training with allied nations before returning it home.[41][42]Nimitz returned to Everett on 16 December 2013.[43]

In late 2014, following the completion of work up qualifications, Nimitz participated in her first deployment, a two-week multi-national fleet exercise involving the Third Fleet, as well as ships from the Royal Canadian Navy and JMSDF.[44] Following the conclusion of the exercise, on November 3 the first F-35C Lightning II to land on an aircraft carrier recovered aboard Nimitz to begin a two-week Development Testing I deployment. This saw a pair of aircraft from VX-23 undertaking carrier operations of launch, recovery and handling aboard ship in both day and night conditions.[45][46] The initial deployment was completed on 14 November 2014.[47] In 2015, Nimitz transferred to Bremerton to undergo a 16-month maintenance cycle.[48]

Eventual replacement[edit]

The Nimitz-class carriers have a lifespan of approximately 50 years. Nimitz itself is projected to be replaced around 2025-2027 by the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). The exact date of the ship’s inactivation and decommissioning will likely depend on Defense Department funding considerations.[49]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ “Bringing the Federal Budget Closer To Home”. New York Times. November 23, 1975. Business Section, page 15. The U.S.S. Nimitz… cost $1 billion inclusive of 100 tactical aircraft
  2. Jump up^ Polmar, Norman (2004). The Naval Institute Guide to the Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. fleet. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-59114-685-8.
  3. Jump up^ Slade, Stuart (29 April 1999). “Speed Thrills III – Max speed of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers”. NavWeaps. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  4. Jump up^ “Nimitz finally arrives for long maintenance period”. Kitsap Sun. 2015-01-13. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b Nimitz. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. 8 May 2009.
  6. Jump up^ Cassatt, Josh (4 October 2011). “HSM-75 25th anniversary”(Press release). San Diego, California: Navy Public Affairs Support Element. Navy News Service. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  7. Jump up^ Anderson, Kurt; Beaty, Jonathan (8 June 1981). “Night of Flaming Terror”. TIME. Retrieved 2 October 2008. (subscription required (help)).
  8. Jump up^ “ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 77226”. Aviation Safety Network. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  9. Jump up^ Gero, David (1999). Military Aviation Disasters. Yeovil, UK: Patrick Stephens, an Inprint of Haynes Publishing. pp. 131–132. ISBN 1-85260-574-X.
  10. Jump up^ Ackerman, D. L. (1991). “A History of Drug Testing”. In Coombs, Robert H.; West, Louis Jolyon. Drug testing: Issues and options. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 3–21. ISBN 978-0-1950-5414-9.
  11. Jump up^ Jewell, Angelyn; et al. “USS Nimitz and Carrier Airwing Nine Surge Demonstration” (PDF). Alexandria, Virginia: Center for Naval Analyses. Retrieved 2012-07-18, pp 3–5
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b Pritchett, Raymond (blogging as Galrahn) (27 August 2009). “The Monster Myths of the CVL Concept”. United States Naval Institute. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
  13. Jump up^ Jewell, Angelyn et al., pp. 5-6.
  14. Jump up^ Jewell, Angelyn et al., pp. 146–149.
  15. ^ Jump up to:a b “USS NIMITZ CVN 68”. US Carriers. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  16. Jump up^ DeHoux, Kristine (7 April 2003). Nimitz Carrier Strike Group Joins Others Deployed to 5th Fleet” (Press release). USS Nimitz, at sea: USS Nimitz Public Affairs. Navy News Service. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  17. Jump up^ Arendes, Ahron (19 April 2004). Nimitz Earns Coveted Battle “E”” (Press release). North Island, California: USS Nimitz Public Affairs. Navy News Service. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  18. Jump up^ Arendes, Ahron (3 June 2004). Nimitz, CVW-11 Win 2003 Flatley Award” (Press release). North Island, California: USS Nimitz Public Affairs. Navy News Service. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  19. Jump up^ Commander, U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs (9 May 2005). “USSNimitz Strike Group Deploys” (Press release). San Diego, California. Navy News Service. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  20. Jump up^ Riveracorrea, Alexia M. (23 April 2008). Nimitz Highlighted in PBS TV Series and Premiere” (Press release). North Island, California: Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific. Navy News Service. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  21. Jump up^ Crosser, Felix (9 June 2006). Nimitz Named Best in Pacific Fleet” (Press release). San Diego, California: USS Nimitz Public Affairs. Navy News Service. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
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  23. Jump up^ “USS Nimitz not known to be carrying nuke warheads”. The Times of India. New Delhi, India. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
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  25. Jump up^ Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs (18 January 2008). Nimitz Carrier Strike Group Set to Deploy” (Press release). San Diego, California. Navy News Service. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  26. ^ Jump up to:a b Reuters (5 March 2008). “Russian bomber intercepted near U.S. ship”. MSNBC. Retrieved 6 March 2008.[not in citation given]
  27. Jump up^ Nizza, Mike (12 February 2008). “U.S. Carrier Intercepts Russian Bombers”. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  28. Jump up^ Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs (28 July 2009). NimitzStrike Group Set To Deploy” (Press release). San Diego, California. Navy News Service. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
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  30. Jump up^ Liewer, Steve (12 January 2010). “Meritorious Unit Honor Presented To Nimitz Crew”. San Diego Union-Tribune.
  31. Jump up^ “China decries Barack Obama’s plan to meet Dalai Lama”. BBC News. 12 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
  32. Jump up^ “Chiến hạm Hoa Kỳ ghé Hong Kong cùng lúc đức Đạt Lai Lạt Ma tới Hoa Kỳ” [US warships visit Hong Kong at the same time the Dalai Lama to the United States] (in Vietnamese).[dead link]
  33. Jump up^ Department of Defense (9 December 2010). “Navy Announces USS Nimitz Homeport Change to Everett, Wash.” (Press release). Washington, DC. Navy News Service. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
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  36. Jump up^ Fiege, Gale (9 March 2012). “USS Nimitz brings 2,800 sailors to Everett”. The Herald. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  37. Jump up^ “MV-22 Osprey Flight Operations Tested Aboard USS Nimitz. Avionics Intelligence. PennWell Corporation. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  38. Jump up^ Candelario, Renee (8 October 2012). “MV-22 Osprey Flight Operations Tested Aboard USS Nimitz (Press release). USS Nimitz, at sea: USS Nimitz Public Affairs. Navy News Service. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  39. Jump up^ Bowen, Jeremy (30 August 2013). “France’s Hollande backs US on Syria action”. BBC World Service. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  40. Jump up^ Shalal-Esa, Andrea (1 September 2013). “USS Nimitz carrier group rerouted for possible help with Syria”. Washington, DC. Reuters.
  41. Jump up^ Simoes, Hendrick (22 October 2013). “USS Nimitz sent to Mediterranean”. Stars and Stripes. Manama, Bahrain.
  42. Jump up^ Nimitz to Operate in Mediterranean”. 648. U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs. 21 October 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
  43. Jump up^ de Leon, John (16 December 2013). “USS Nimitz returns to Everett after 9-month deployment”. The Seattle Times. Everett, Washington. Associated Press. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  44. Jump up^ Agee, Kelly (20 October 2014). Nimitz to Participate Alongside Canadian, Japanese, other US Ships in Task Group Exercise”(Press release). San Diego, California: USS Nimitz Public Affairs. Navy News Service. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  45. Jump up^ Naval Air Forces, Public Affairs (3 November 2014). “F-35C Completes First Arrested Landing aboard Aircraft Carrier” (Press release). San Diego, California. Navy News Service. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  46. Jump up^ Majumdar, Dave (3 November 2014). “U.S. Navy Version of F-35 Lands on Carrier for First Time”. USNI News. U.S. Naval Institute. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  47. Jump up^ Commander, Naval Air Forces Public Affairs (17 November 2014). “F-35C Completes Initial Sea Trials aboard Aircraft Carrier” (Press release). San Diego, California. Navy News Service. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  48. Jump up^ Herald staff (24 June 2014). Nimitz moving to Bremerton for 16 months of maintenance”. The Herald. Everett, Washington. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  49. Jump up^ O’Rourke, Ronald (24 March 2015). “Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress”(PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 2015-04-28.

Commissioning

Published on Nov 8, 2015

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) was commissioned on May 3, 1975 at Pier 12, Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia with President Gerald R. Ford and more than 20,000 guests in attendance. Nimitz’s commissioning marked the beginning of a new “Nimitz class” of aircraft carriers

0:04
the limits can steam at over 55 kilometers and out
0:10
sale for over 20 years without refueling
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and has 6,000 men and
0:20
yeah
0:27
she can detect threats over 500 kilometers away and launch a supersonic
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fighter every 20 seconds to intercept them
0:41
she is a masterpiece of modern engineering
0:46
to understand how the limits became the most powerful warship ever built
0:53
we was traveled back to nineteen sixteen almost as soon as people learn to fly
1:00
they want to try to get airborne from the deck of a ship the shit is the
1:06
16,000 time USS North Carolina
1:22
reaching takeoff speed requires a lengthy runway
1:33
but the decks of warships are crammed with weapons and Rader there’s no room
1:38
for a long takeoff strip so engineers must devise a way of getting an aircraft
1:44
up to takeoff speed with a shorter run
1:48
the fundamental problem is is down to basic law of physics we want to launch a
1:54
large mass in a short space of time or distance you’ve got to give it a lot of
1:59
stored energy very rapidly
2:01
this is the basic kind of technology that’s been known for thousands of years
2:05
the slingshot I store the energy by stretching the elastic I put my aircraft
2:12
in it
2:13
store the energy let go and it flies wonderfully but across this isn’t a real
2:20
aircraft with the real pilot the challenges are making it work in the
2:23
real world are much more significant the solution comes from the fathers of
2:29
aviation wilbur and orville wright in 1903 they achieved the first powered
2:36
flight and then develop their own launching a catapult their design
2:45
consists of a 6-meter high wooden Tower this holds our weight suspended for a
2:51
road as the weight drops the Rope pulls the plane along a rail until it reaches
2:58
takeoff speed
3:00
yeah
3:03
ok
3:07
the rights offer their launching system to the US Navy but dropping a heavy
3:15
weight on the deck of a warship is not such a good idea
3:22
the Navy go back to the drawing board so they came up with a better idea
3:30
another form of stored energy on board with compressed air installed in
3:34
warships for things like launching torpedoes and song compressed air can be
3:39
released and give thrust so in a simple way we can use compressed air to release
3:47
an aircraft from a warship in 1916 the military tries the idea out on the
3:57
battle cruiser USS North Carolina
4:05
the engineers build a 30-meter steel track at the stern of the ship they use
4:16
compressed air to shoot a piston down a cylinder piston use a rope to pull the
4:22
plane along the track but compressed air alone is not powerful enough to launch
4:30
an 800 kilograms plane
4:34
to speed it up they feed the cable through a system police these multiply
4:42
the force exerted on the plane and increase its velocity by seven times
4:53
after years of trial and error they finally have a system that works
5:02
until now the might of a great power has been determined by the strength of its
5:07
fleet of battleships
5:11
but now the flimsiest biplane wants from the deck of a carrier can sink the most
5:18
heavily armed Washington
5:21
it is now the age of the carrier
5:34
today catapults are the working heart of the USS Nimitz
5:44
without the catapults we have no other means of getting the aircraft off to do
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their missions
5:49
it’s basically just a giant slingshot
5:53
it is the task of the shooter to choose the catapult to launch aircraft of
5:58
different sizes
6:00
yeah
6:04
as a shooter my job is to take the weight of the aircraft and the wind that
6:08
we actually have over the deck and use that to determine a setting that we put
6:13
into our catapult system to shoot it off the front Letterman kozloski adjusts our
6:19
catapult to launch a series of f-18 fighters
6:24
yeah
6:27
each catapult has enough muscle to throw a Cadillac a kilometer
6:34
the secret of its power lies hidden beneath the dank instead of complicated
6:40
police and wires the Nimitz has a pair of cylinders slung below its runway
6:45
inside these cylinders are Pistons the Pistons connect to the plane through
6:53
slots at the top of each cylinder they fill the cylinders with pressurized
7:00
steam which shoots the pistons and the plane for
7:08
to prevent the steam escaping they fit two strips of flexible metal that act
7:16
like zippers and reseal the slots as the Pistons pass through
7:29
yeah
7:37
yeah
7:40
Lucas before we send them off about telling us that they’re ready to go hit
7:45
the fire button
7:52
on land it takes over 1,500 meters to get an f-18 airborne but the steam
8:01
catapult does it in less than 100 in 1916 the USS North Carolina has a huge
8:13
drawback as an aircraft carrier she has nowhere for her planes to land she
8:20
misused Blaine’s that can land on water that these must be winched back on board
8:25
every time they fly hardly practical for a ship war
8:31
landing planes on the ship itself requires a long deck and the ship big
8:36
enough to accommodate it
8:39
the 28,000 ton hms ark royal
8:46
in August 1917 Royal Navy pilot Edwin Dunning attempts the first landing on a
8:56
moving ship
9:01
the obstacles he must negotiate include the shift central bridge and tunnel
9:05
known as the superstructure
9:09
in a truly audacious moon commanded darling sweet side ones in front of them
9:15
and lands on the front deck five days later tries again but as he touches down
9:24
the engine stalls and he loses control the plane
9:29
the deck crew tried to grab the palace aircraft but strong winds blow it over
9:36
the side
9:39
dunning is knocked unconscious and drowns in his carpet
9:48
commander Edwin Dunning prove that a deck landing is possible but he pays the
9:53
ultimate price making the decks safe for landing requires redesigning the ship’s
10:01
superstructure the obstacle that had lighted Dunning’s approach
10:07
one proposed solution was to split the superstructure into two parts moving
10:13
them either side of the flight deck but the gap between the two blocks is hardly
10:18
wide enough to allow a plane to land and naval architects fear this will unnerve
10:24
their pilots they consider removing one of the blocks not such a good idea so
10:34
naval architects search for a way to offset the weight of the block they now
10:38
call the island to correct the ship’s balance they fill the port fuel tanks to
10:46
the brim whilst only partially filling the tanks on the starboard side but as
10:51
she begins to run out of fuel the ship starts to list again
11:00
then they try moving the entire hanger to port leaving behind an empty space
11:08
but the cruise soon fills the void with equipment and the ship regains it
11:14
started list
11:17
finally they decide to physically extend the whole output on the port side and
11:23
shift the heavy machinery to balance the boat after two decades of trial and
11:31
error they now have a truly revolutionary design hms ark royal is
11:37
launched in 1937 the ark royal is the mother of all modern carriers Island
11:51
sits on her starboard side allowing a long clearer flight
11:59
early out sets the template for every carrier to come included the limits
12:10
like the Ark Royal the Nimitz is a giant floating airport
12:17
the island is her control tower her eyes ears and brain
12:26
within her nerve center on the first floor are the officers in charge of the
12:31
flight deck above them are the radar and whether rules above these on the fifth
12:40
floor is the captain’s bridge he runs the ship from here in overall command
12:45
strategy and tactics
12:49
but on the top of the aisle nestling just below the radar domes sits perhaps
12:55
the most important place on any carrier primary flight control here
13:03
the air boss and minibus run the business end of this warship controlling
13:08
the operation of her strike fighters I like signs manned and ready sir list is
13:13
. 60 / down because they control the busy airspace around the Nimitz takeoffs
13:21
and landings but this is no ordinary run the flight deck has been called the most
13:30
dangerous work place on earth
13:36
here the deck crew must dodge wings blades and jets as the fuel arm and park
13:42
the multimillion-dollar warplanes
13:48
starboard hilltop or watching movies watch your step
13:52
engineer’s mirror the layout of the flight deck in miniature to keep track
13:56
of the comings and goings of each aircraft 144 people thinking back to
14:01
normal stuff a hole right there
14:03
it’s literally not some bolts technology this is the Ouija board
14:09
this is a miniature version of the flight deck and these little plastic
14:13
pieces that we have here keep track of aircraft that we actually have out on
14:18
deck now these nuts and bolts they represent different things
14:22
this means that it needs aircraft that need to be turned its engines turn and
14:27
then this one needs feel that helps keep track of everything going out on the
14:32
flight deck since it moves at such a fast pace out there they’re constantly
14:35
updating this board gotta get him out
14:37
I gotta clean up bail for I’ve got dropped this guy down often to the
14:41
hangar and if you want you can put two or three on the elevator it really
14:44
doesn’t matter
14:45
this is always reliable if we have a power outage I can always rely on this
14:49
being up and running before you put something on one make sure it’s got mrs.
14:53
the Nimitz can operate more aircraft than any other carrier in the world up
15:00
to 90 lethal warplanes
15:05
yeah
15:07
but in 1938 hms ark royal the biggest British carrier can only handle about 50
15:14
aircraft
15:17
but the American Admirals of the time one double that number for their
15:21
carriers
15:26
but there isn’t enough room in their hangers to store them
15:31
yeah
15:36
so the deck must take the overspill
15:43
this is potentially disastrous of an aircraft coming in to land doesn’t stop
15:48
at once
15:52
it takes years to resolve the problem
15:56
the solution will be built into the new 34,000 ton USS Hornet from the time of
16:07
the first calories engineers have been experimenting with ways of slowing
16:12
planes down by snaring with so-called arrestor wires
16:18
well your earliest system consisted simply of groups attached two pairs of
16:23
sandbags aircraft would come down and engage this rope but of course one set
16:28
of sandbags was not enough to stop a heavy aircraft so its aircraft proceeded
16:34
down the flight deck it had to engage successive pairs of sandbags until there
16:39
was enough resistance to stop the airplane the simple system of course was
16:45
nowhere adequate for high-performance aircraft so other more complex systems
16:50
had to be developed on the USS coordinate they must stop an eight
16:55
clouds and kilogram war plane landing it over a hundred thirty-five kilometers an
17:00
hour in just 45 meters
17:03
this is how they do as a plane comes into left hook on its tail’s there’s an
17:11
arrest a wire and pulls it forward beneath the deck this action forces are
17:17
ram into a cylinder filled with fluid this fluid dampens the planes momentum
17:25
as it is squeezed up a tube and through an open made ever smaller by at closing
17:31
plunger an elegant solution
17:37
yeah
17:38
but in practice staggering a single-wire proves difficult for the pilots to do
17:46
so the engineers lineup several wires one behind the other to increase the
17:53
chances of a successful ground
17:57
but even this doesn’t guarantee success during the Second World War was fair to
18:02
characterize the landings is looking like a controlled crash as the pilot
18:07
approaches the back of the ship
18:10
he’s going to flies airplane into position just above the wires and then
18:14
he hopes that the airplane will drop right into the middle of those wires and
18:18
pick up one of those 12 wire didn’t catch any of the wires then they had
18:23
five what they called Davis barriers that would engage the landing gear on
18:28
the aircraft and stop it that way
18:31
unfortunately these Davis barriers normally would flip the airplane upside
18:34
down but i would definitely stop today on the Nimitz trapping arrest a wire has
18:44
become even more challenging
18:47
jets hit the deck traveling at 225 kilometers an hour giving a pilot
18:54
precious little time to guide his plane onto the wire
19:02
it’s so difficult the pilot was practice over a hundred simulated landings before
19:08
they’re allowed to try the wheel
19:11
now landing on a carrier is a lot different than landing at a long
19:17
airfield with 12,000 or even five thousand foot strip
19:23
this is what we call the dirty configuration I’ve got like you’re down
19:26
with flaps are cool my hooks down ready to catch the wire
19:33
there’s no mistaking it when you catch wire it’s a lot like a mild car crash
19:38
throws you forward and straps and you definitely know that airplanes going to
19:41
stop
19:52
the principle behind the arrester system hasn’t changed in over 60 years the
19:58
Nimitz pushes the system’s braking power to the limit
20:03
it must bring a 25,000 kilogram f-18 traveling at 225 kilometers an hour to a
20:12
stop in just over a hundred meters about the length of a football pitch
20:20
but even with four wires to target the pilots sometimes miss altogether and
20:26
must go round again they call this doing a bolter bolter is when you’ve got your
20:33
work down with an intentional land and the jet doesn’t stop you may have a
20:37
couple of choice words you’re going back flying again and you can probably
20:41
picture all your buddies down here watching the past and horse laughing you
20:44
you fail miserably and get heckled by all your friends for the rest of the day
20:47
to give a bolting pilot the chance of a clean getaway the landing deck on the
20:57
Nimitz angles out to see away from the park Decker
21:05
yeah
21:10
to help perfect their skills senior pilot standard the stern passing
21:18
judgment on each land
21:25
we will grade them on their start in the middle position at the in closed
21:29
position and then again as they cross around
21:34
the great goes into an overall grade point average for how everybody’s doing
21:39
every pilot and every squadron thinks they’re the best
21:42
definitely maybe it’s not the best pilot the arrest of wine allows planes to land
21:51
safely on a crowded day but during world war two the deck itself becomes a target
21:58
for enemy bombs
22:03
defeating them demands a totally think a carrier twice as big
22:13
the 61,000 ton USS Midway
22:25
during the nineteen nineteen forty-five a naval catastrophe Japanese bombs
22:33
penetrate the USS Franklin’s wooden flight deck and explode in the hangar
22:37
below
22:41
724 American sailors and airmen killed
22:50
yeah
22:53
the Navy resolve never to allow this to happen again
23:02
yeah
23:04
protecting the crew by replacing of wood with armored steel sounds simple enough
23:11
but this causes huge problems for ship designers when you replace that made out
23:18
of work with one made out of carbon steel the real issues to do with adding
23:22
talk weight and making the vessel top-heavy this course is the vessel to
23:27
reduce its ability which makes it vulnerable to capsizing waves
23:44
to make the ship more stable the whole must be wider
23:51
but a wider hull meets more resistance than a thinner one and impede the ship’s
23:57
movement through water to restore speed they must make the whole more
24:02
streamlined this makes the ship sleeker and longer but also heavy
24:10
the mighty USS Midway is the product of this thinking
24:15
it weighs in at almost twice the size of her predecessor the Hornet for the
24:23
decade after World War 2 the Midway is the largest ship in the world she
24:30
stretches nearly 300 meters almost 12,000 square meters of nine centimeter
24:38
thick steel plate protects a flight deck
24:41
this is just an 8 centimeter chunk from it
24:46
she weighs in at 61 thousand tons
24:53
the USS midway is so strong and well protected that she serves for 47 years
25:05
the deck of the Nimitz is also steal but it isn’t armor-plated it doesn’t need
25:16
no attacking aircraft should ever get close enough to drop a bomb on it
25:21
layer upon layer of high-tech protection stands in the way
25:29
first long-range radar scan the sky for intruders should there be any she
25:40
directs our fleet of f-18 fighters to intercept and destroy them if an enemy
25:46
missile does manage to elude her aircraft it will meet her next blind
25:52
effects a ring of missile armed warships finally the limits can unleash your own
26:02
missiles each capable of destroying anything that gets within eight
26:06
kilometers
26:10
the tactical team runs this high-tech shield from a bunker deep within the
26:15
minutes we can protect ourselves from from great distances where there are
26:19
planes all the way down to two in close with our are . defense systems shoot it
26:26
all failed the captain knows he can fullback on a trustee technology from a
26:31
bygone here we have 50 caliber machine guns that are manned by our crews here
26:37
we also have their lair defense is all the way down to the captain and a
26:41
9-millimeter the Midway’s arma deck gives the security she needs but her dad
26:50
crafts are outdated
26:53
in the nineteen fifties Navy commanders want Jets on their carriers
27:01
these bigger faster planes cannot land safely
27:07
it will take 10 years and an ingenious idea before Jets can routinely land
27:13
81,000 ton USS Forrestal on
27:19
in December 1945 a jet manages to land on a carrier for the first time
27:32
it is an extraordinary feat of flying by Eric Winkle brown the Royal Navy’s top
27:39
test pilot
27:43
that aircraft there is is the aircraft a twinkle brown landed in December 1945
27:50
and made carrier aviation with jet power fundamental to any modern Navy it also
27:57
identified that there were a batch of new problems to be resolved the main
28:03
problem is speed
28:08
faster jets leave their pilots less time to find the correct angle of approach if
28:14
they come in too steep the aircraft will hit the deck too high
28:20
but if their approaches to shallow they make clip the stern of the ship
28:25
engineers discovered the optimum angle of approach for safe landing is three
28:34
degrees
28:37
but it’s almost impossible for a pilot to get this right every time
28:45
in slower planes like the Hellcat pilots of time to respond to instructions from
28:54
a man on the flight deck uses paddles to help guide down
29:00
yeah
29:02
former Royal Navy pilot Nick good heart explains how it’s supposed to work
29:09
so we’re coming in and he thinks I’m a little bit too high so he makes signal
29:16
and i say is a little too i and i saw the back just a little bit and descend a
29:22
bit and then he’s an honor to love and I open throttle bit and sure enough for a
29:29
reasonably good landing track and I get near the round down and just as I’m
29:36
coming over the round down he makes the signal cut and I chopped my throttle and
29:42
we descend gracefully on the deck and everybody’s happy
29:46
at least that’s principal
29:54
but good heart discovers it to be a very dangerous procedure in fact we lost so
30:04
many pilots that way that is exceeded by far the number who were killed by the
30:09
enemy in the world appalled by such losses good art himself comes up with a
30:15
simple idea that enables the pilot alone to find and follow the correct angle of
30:20
descent
30:23
we’ve got this rig setup here which was the rig that I used originally in my
30:30
boss’s office i set up a mirror which I had borrowed from his secretary on the
30:36
carrier deck that mirror has a line across it made out of lipstick to
30:42
markets middle and i also had a torch which we’ve got here so we set the torch
30:51
up on the carrier as well and then we invited his secretary to come in and I
30:59
said to look now your job is as a pilot is to see the reflection of the torch in
31:07
the mirror and walk very slowly towards it
31:11
keeping the reflection on the line by keeping the light level with the
31:17
lipstick line the secretary like the pilot will naturally follow the correct
31:22
angle of descent translated onto a ship this is what’s happening
31:32
the torch is represented by four lights fixed to the deck beyond them is the
31:38
mirror a row of lamps represent the lipstick line
31:43
as the plane approaches that beam from the deck lights reflect back to the
31:50
pilot at an angle of three degrees if the pilot keeps this reflection in the
31:56
center of the mirror he will come down at the right angle
32:03
but it’s not as simple as that and see a ship pitching in the waves throws the
32:09
beam about sometimes with devastating results
32:13
to stabilize the beam they fixed the mirror on a gyroscopic mount our plane
32:25
can safely follow the right line of descent
32:27
however rough sea
32:49
Admiral good hearts mirror landing age who’s a great success
32:53
whatever the size and speed of the aircraft
32:58
it allows a whole new generation of supersonic fighters and nuclear around
33:02
farmers to land on carrots
33:09
the Forrestal now truly deserve to be called the world’s first super carrier
33:19
today on the Nimitz they use an improved version of Admiral good hearts landing
33:24
aid pilots called the central lamp in this row of lights the meatball it is
33:31
fitted with a special lens so that the approaching Pilot can only see it’s
33:35
light when he lines up his aircraft to come in at the correct angle
33:42
the system stands up well to the demands of modern warfare with its tremendous
33:46
onus on night operations
33:51
on a clear night pilots can see the meatball as far as six kilometers out
33:59
even so night flying is not for the faint-hearted
34:07
two night landings last night and I’m going to do it tonight I’d rather not
34:11
it’s something that with 250 Nightwing’s now I don’t look forward to it and the
34:17
knees still shaking you’re still breathing heavy and still breaking a
34:20
sweat when you land
34:21
night flying contacts even the most experienced pilots trainees today are
34:27
not allowed near 20 million dollar plane without conducting 10 hours of simulator
34:32
rides first one of the defining factor is about naval aviation is when you take
34:38
off in the boat
34:39
you have to land on the boat in all kinds of weather gay night storms sunny
34:48
now at night or in bad weather behind the ship the instrumentation is critical
34:53
right now we’re at a net 1.9 miles at this point I can’t see the meatball at
35:01
all i’m relying solely on my instrument get on dark nights like this was really
35:05
rough lot of illusions out there hardly any depth perceptions takes a lot of
35:12
mental concentration
35:15
first step is to get in this aircraft with 250 knots and most importantly I’m
35:20
gonna reach over my right hand and I’m going to slap down the whole candle
35:23
pretty important because that hook is what’s going to stop me from the
35:26
aircraft up a nice like tonight it can be off real heavy workload the pace
35:30
quickens getting a lot of wind gust the whole way down making small adjustments
35:36
like it stabilized
35:38
about a mile and a half i can start picking up the the lights of the carrier
35:43
box which is the landing area
35:45
a lot of concentration
35:50
right now it when these nights when the pulse is racing a little the breathing
35:55
is a little heavier working really hard here really high
36:00
it’s a great feeling when you pick up the meatball because now you know you
36:03
have a good visual indication to the proper to the proper landing but right
36:09
now show me a little high
36:12
it’s coming down
36:14
the burner there’s a good trap
36:18
this is I’m ready he comes out getting the throttle back signal
36:24
yeah
36:28
the mirror landing aid allows the USS Forrestal to carry the world’s biggest
36:33
and fastest Navy bombers but as a fighting ship she has a severe
36:40
limitation she runs out of fuel after only three days of an action the Navy
36:47
searches for a new type of propulsion system it is so massive that they must
36:52
build a bigger ship to accommodate the 91,000 tons USS Enterprise this is the
37:04
start of one of the Navy’s most dangerous operations refueling at sea
37:13
yeah
37:18
a conventional fossil fuel carrier drain said tanks in about three days and then
37:24
needs a pit stop
37:26
but this is no simple topper
37:31
the crew uses a pilot program to pull across the fuel
37:41
then once the line is connected they transfer more than 2 million litres of
37:46
fuel but that’s only enough for about 72 hours sailing
37:54
the process ties the carrier to a slow tanker and leaves both vulnerable to
37:59
attack by enemy aircraft and submarines there must be a better way
38:08
1solution harness the colossal energy released by the splitting of an atom to
38:18
produce nuclear power
38:20
scientists discover that firing particles at atoms of uranium loosens
38:28
the bonds that hold their tiny components together
38:33
a chain-reaction the nuclear power plant in the bowels of the ship triggers a
38:38
massive release of energy in the form of heat
38:43
this heat can then be used to generate steam
38:52
shooting the steam through a turbine forces its blade to rotate to tie speed
39:00
and transmitting this movement through a set of gears generates enough turning
39:06
power to spend a hundred and twenty meter long shaft attached to it
39:13
together with three other propellers they have the power to push 91,000 tons
39:18
of metal through the water at over 55 kilometers an hour
39:27
but nuclear power comes at a price to protect the ship’s crew from deadly
39:33
radiation the engineers have to shield the reactor with hundreds of tons of LED
39:38
but the supercarrier needs eight reactors in heavy seas the extra weight
39:48
sitting in the middle of the hull could cause the killed chuckle so they
39:58
strengthen the kill the honeycomb structure steel sells these take the
40:04
weight of the reactors and lead to the birth of the largest carrier the world
40:09
has ever seen
40:15
the USS Enterprise takes to the sea in November 1961
40:22
aight reactors make her the largest nuclear power facility in the world able
40:28
to supply the electrical needs of a city of half a million people
40:33
and she has one colossal advantage of a conventionally powered carriers she can
40:39
sail for three years without having to be refueled
40:46
yeah
40:48
today a nimitz-class supercarrier only needs to be refuel once every 20 years
40:56
she requires only two reactors to deliver the same power load to the ship
41:01
and the space that once might have been used to store fuel for her engines is
41:07
now used to store fuel and ammunition for her jets
41:15
the reactors also send power down 1500 miles of cables to support his veritable
41:23
city in the scene
41:26
six thousand heads lie on 14,000 pillowcases between 28,000 sheets each
41:37
day cooks prepare eighteen thousand meals from their supply of a hundred and
41:42
twenty thousand eggs fifteen thousand kilograms of potatoes and over 11,000
41:49
kilograms of meat but it can be a lonely place the worst thing about being on the
41:56
name is probably being away from family away from home
41:59
it’s the same day overthrowing all day every day is Groundhog Day we always
42:03
joke about it every day is monday the camaraderie the pilots out here is is is
42:06
probably the only thing that makes it so you can survive with your sense of humor
42:10
and with your sanity
42:12
over the past 30 years this floating community has demonstrated its prowess
42:17
by delivering airpower straight to the heart of the enemy and conflicts around
42:21
the world the first limits was commissioned in 1975 she was so
42:30
successful that the u.s. maybe ordered nine more
42:35
but it took a long seven years before the first one was built and ready for
42:42
service and there was only one dry dock in the whole of America big enough to
42:48
handle and ninety-nine thousand ton nimitz-class carrier there had to be a
42:55
quicker way of building and carriers future until nineteen eighty-one the US
43:07
Navy builds their carriers using traditional methods they construct them
43:12
like buildings from the bottom up one vessel requires enough cable to stretch
43:18
from New York to Dallas over 45,000 tons of steel and an army of workings a huge
43:28
range of craftsmen were involved Boilermakers shipwrights carpenters
43:32
electricians and stop and that meant that the ship grew very slowly get it
43:38
tied up the dry dock for a long time
43:40
the electrician’s get in the way of the plumbers who get in the way of the
43:44
welders in the congested compartments
43:49
that’s why it used to take 33 million man-hours to construct carrier
43:59
today they build Nimitz carriers on the dark side section by section and then
44:05
weld the pieces together afterwards
44:10
yeah
44:12
specialist trades take turns sitting out each module with its cables and
44:21
electronic systems its bulkheads and passageways and as they are no longer in
44:29
each other’s way they build the ship much fast
44:36
ok
44:39
a job that once took three hours to do in a traditional yard now just takes one
44:44
hour using the new modular mendon
44:49
they’re very very large pieces that go together the improvements in computer
44:56
design the ability to reduce the number of pieces that go together and it’s
45:01
going to be a heck of a lot more efficient they use the biggest crane in
45:07
the Western Hemisphere to move the modules into position
45:11
a hundred and sixty-one modules come together to make a carrier
45:19
each can weigh up to 850 times
45:27
moving the modules pushes the gantry crane close to its lifting capacity
45:35
july the $DAY $YEAR 8 2006 workers crane the final piece of the jigsaw into place
45:42
it is the carrier’s mighty 700-ton nerve center the island
45:54
yeah
45:56
finally after three years of construction the shipbuilders flood the
46:00
huge dry dog
46:02
mission accomplished
46:07
the latest and last of the nimitz-class of carriers the USS george HW bush takes
46:15
to the water she is the culmination of a hundred years of innovation in carrier
46:22
design the deck is ready for the latest generation of stealth fighters
46:31
a special bulbous how greatly reduces drag
46:39
lighter composite materials trimmed the weight of highland
46:46
and automated systems have trimmed the size of her crew
46:54
the USS george HW bush is truly a six-million-dollar man of war
47:04
yeah
47:12
Nimitz class carriers are currently the biggest and most technologically
47:17
advanced warships in the world
47:23
but already naval architects are working on the next generation of super carrier
47:28
the first one we delivered to the navy until $MONTH 2014
47:35
until then the Nimitz will rain supre

Looking for other Supercarriers? Check those pages!

USS Carl Vinson CVN-70