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|Nimitz-class Aircraft Carrier|
The Nimitz class supercarriers are a class of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy. With an overall length of 333 m)and full-load displacements of over 100,000 long tons, they are the largest capital ships in the world. Instead of the gas turbines or diesel-electric systems used for propulsion on many modern warships, the carriers use two A4W pressurized water reactors which drive four propeller shafts and can produce a maximum speed of over 30 knots (56 kmph) and maximum power of around 260,000 shp (190 MW). As a result of the use of nuclear power, the ships are capable of operating for over 20 years without refueling and are predicted to have a service life of over 50 years. They are categorized as nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and are numbered with consecutive hull numbers between CVN-68 and CVN-77.
All ten carriers were constructed by Newport News Shipbuilding Company in Virginia. USS Nimitz, the lead ship of the class, was commissioned on 3 May 1975, and USS George H.W. Bush, the tenth and last of the class, was commissioned on 10 January 2009. Since the 1970s, Nimitz-class carriers have participated in many conflicts and operations across the world, including Operation Eagle Claw in Iran, the Gulf War, and more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The angled flight decks of the carriers use a CATOBAR arrangement to operate aircraft, with steam catapults and arrestor wires for launch and recovery. As well as speeding up flight deck operations, this allows for a much wider variety of aircraft than with the STOVL arrangement used on smaller carriers. An embarked carrier air wing consisting of up to around 90 aircraft is normally deployed on board. After the retirement of the F-14 Tomcat, the air wings' strike fighters are primarily F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and F/A-18C Hornets. In addition to their aircraft, the vessels carry short-range defensive weaponry for anti-aircraft warfare and missile defense.
United States of America (US Navy)
Nuclear Attack Carrier
Newport News shipbuilding
Crew: 3,508 Navy, 2,512 Air Wing, 72 Marines
Notable Ships of Class:
USS George Washington
USS John C. Stennis
MDC BY LOCATION:
(1) Main Body 5,500
(2) Command Tower 900
(2) Sensor Array (behind command tower) 200
(3) Flight Deck 2,000
Aircraft Elevators (4) 400 each
(4) Propellors (4) 300 each
MK 29 Sea Sparrow Octuple Launcher (3) 190 each
MK 15 MOD 2 Vulcan CIWS (4) 150 each
MK 32 MOD 14 Torpedo Tubes (2) 200 each
Outer Hull (per 40ft area) 100
Interior walls (per 20ft) 10
- Depleting the MDC of the main body will put the carrier out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, the ship itself will be an unsalvageable sinking wreck.
- Destroying the command tower will instantly kill the command staff and deprive the ship of all forms of long range communications, radar and targeting. Destroying the main sensory array behind the command tower will have the same effect, but the command staff will not be killed instantly.
- Destroying the flight deck will greatly impair the carriers ability to deploy and recover aircraft.
- Depleting the MDC of the propellors will leave the ship adrift until such time as they are repaired or the ship is towed back to port.
Speed: 30+ knots (56+ kmph)
Maximum Range: unlimited distance; 20-25 years
Length: 332.9 m
Width: overall: 76.8 m, waterline 40.8 m
Weight: 100,000-106,300 t
- 2 Westinghouse A4W pressured water nuclear reactors (280,000 hp)
- 4 x Reserve diesels engines of 10,720 hp
- Radar Systems:
- AN/SPS-64 Surface Radar
- Furuno 900 Surface Radar
- AN/SPS-67 Surface Radar
- AN/SPS-49 Air Search Radar
- SPS-48E 3D Radar
- TAS Mk23 Air search Radar
1. MK29 RIM-7P ESSM SEA SPARROW ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILE LAUNCHER (3):
Two of these systems defend the starboard side and one the port.
- PRIMARY PURPOSE: Anti-Aircraft
- SECONDARY PURPOSE: Anti-Missile/Anti-surface
- RANGE: 14.8 km
- SPEED: 4,281 kmph
- DAMAGE: 2D6X10 M.D.
- RATE OF FIRE: 1-3 per turn
- BLAST RADIUS: 15 m
- PAYLOAD: 8 per launcher, 16 reloads per launcher.
- RELOAD: Requires 5 mins to reload entire launcher.
2. MK 15 BLOCK 1 20 mm VULCAN PHALANX (CIWS) (4):
The Primary Close in defensive weapon of the carriers are the primary defence against inner range aircraft and missiles. These guns are almost totally automated and are very effective against low flying aircraft/missiles. These are mounted at various corners of ship and near command tower.
- PRIMARY PURPOSE: Anti-Missile
- SECONDARY PURPOSE: Anti-Aircraft
- RANGE: 1.6 km
- DAMAGE: 5D6 MD per 60 round burst, and 1D6X10 MD for 100 round burst
- RATE OF FIRE: 5 bursts per round
- PAYLOAD: 1,550 rounds
- BONUSES: +4 to strike
3. AN/SLQ-32 (V) 3 ELECTRONIC WARFARE SUITE:
Used to defeat hostile radar and Sonar, the ECM/ESM, (Electronic Counter Measures,) jammers will confuse all radar and sonar so that the ships is much harder to be detected or locked onto with radar/sonar guided weapons. This does not give away the position of the ship but it does let the enemy know that they are there. The only way that it can be defeated is with ECCM, (Electronic Counter-Counter Measures).
- PRIMARY PURPOSE: Block Enemy Radar/Sonar
- RANGE: 50 km
- RULES: Confuses all radar/sonar within 50 km, but can be defeated by ECCM, if the ECCM operator gets a higher Sensory Instruments percentage roll against the ECM operator.
4. MK 36 SUPER RAPID-BLOOMING OFF BOARD CHAFF/ FLARE DECOY DISPENSORS (4):
The carriers counter-measures dispensors consist of six six-barrelled 130 mm Chaff/Flare launchers. Triggered by the Principal Weapons Officer, (PWO,) they will release either a chaff cloud or single flare depending on what the PWO chooses. They are used to confuse enemy missiles attacking the ship. Smart missiles get a 20% bonus when rolling on the below chart.
01-50 Missile/s detonated by Chaff/Flare
51-75 Missile/s loses track of target and veers away in wrong direction, (may lock onto another target)
76-00 No effect, missile is still on target
- Payload: Three of each type (per launcher) Reloads are automatic with 3 reloads per launcher before a manual reload is required. Stores hold 10 full reloads of the system.
SYSTEMS OF NOTE:
- LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS: The carriers have sufficient food, water, fuel and amenities to support up to 6000 people for up to 6 months. In an emergency, the carrier can support up to 8,000 people at one time, though living conditions onboard will get extremely cramped at that point.
- LONG-RANGE LASER/SATELLITE RELAY COMMUNICATIONS: The impressive communications array of the carrier can communicate with up to 500 craft simultaneously at ranges of up to 1,440 km. This range can be boosted indefinitely by using satellites or other spacecraft as to relay communications.
- LONG-RANGE RADAR: The radar array of the carrier is equally as impressive as the communication system, and can track and identify up to 500 craft simultaneously. The radar system has a 3,200 km range.
- DECOYS: SLQ-25A Nixie towed torpedo decoy.
- LIFTS: There are four lifts that move aircraft from the hanger deck to flight deck. Each one can move 47 tons each, or two aircraft.
- CATAPULTS: There are 4 of these systems onboard which can launch two aircraft per round.
Ship-borne Vehicles (STANDARD):
- F-14 Tomcat: 11
- F-18 Hornet: 36
- EA-6B Prowler: 4
- E-2C Hawkeye: 4
- S-3-A/B Viking: 6
- ES-3A Shadow: 2
- Sh-60 Seahawk: 8
© Aaron Sketchley