American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century


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The problem appears to be especially prevalent on some of the more modern vessels. This problem has been previously rectified by using damage control voids for ballast, but a solution using solid ballast which does not affect the ship's survivability has been proposed. This means that whole sections could be welded together with plumbing and electrical equipment already fitted, improving efficiency. Using gantry cranes , the modules were lifted into the dry dock and welded. All ships of the class are powered by two A4W nuclear reactors , housed in separate compartments.

This is then passed through four turbines which are shared by the two reactors.

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Carrier Air Wing One

The turbines power the four bronze propellers, each with a diameter of 25 feet 7. Behind these are the two rudders which are 29 feet 8. In addition to the aircraft carried on board, the ships carry defensive equipment for use against missiles and hostile aircraft.

Nimitz in —, Eisenhower from — and Vinson in The presence of nuclear weapons on board U. As a result of this, the presence of a U. In May , George H. The pieces of the SSTDS are engineered to locate and destroy incoming torpedoes in a matter of seconds. Initial operational capability IOC is planned for and all aircraft carriers are to be outfitted by Although the air wings are integrated with the operation of the carriers they are deployed to, they are nevertheless regarded as a separate entity. As well as the aircrew, the air wings are also made up of support personnel involved in roles including maintenance, aircraft and ordnance handling and emergency procedures.

Each person on the flight deck wears color-coded clothing to make his role easily identifiable. The flight deck is angled at nine degrees, which allows for aircraft to be launched and recovered simultaneously.

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This angle of the flight deck was reduced slightly in relation to previous carriers, as the current design improves the air flow around the carrier. The two newest carriers, Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush , have only three arrestor wires each, as the fourth was used infrequently on earlier ships and was therefore deemed unnecessary. This CATOBAR arrangement allows for faster launching and recovery as well as a much wider range of aircraft that can be used on board compared with smaller aircraft carriers, most of which use a simpler STOVL arrangement without catapults or arrestor wires.

The ship's aircraft operations are controlled by the air boss from Primary Flight Control or Pri-Fly. Four large elevators transport aircraft between the flight deck and the hangars below.

American Carrier Air Power At The Dawn Of A New Century

These hangars are divided into three bays by thick steel doors that are designed to restrict the spread of fire. When an aircraft carrier deploys, it takes a Strike Group, made up of several other warships and supply vessels which allow the operation to be carried out. The armament of the Nimitz class is made up only of short range defensive weapons, used as a last line of defense against enemy missiles and aircraft. An aircraft carrier, as with all surface ships, is particularly vulnerable to attack from below, specifically from submarines.

An aircraft carrier is a very expensive, hard to replace and strategically valuable asset and therefore logically has a huge target value. As a result of its target value and vulnerability, aircraft carriers are always escorted by at least one submarine for protection.


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The other vessels in the Strike Group provide additional capabilities, such as long range Tomahawk missiles or the Aegis Combat System , and also protect the carrier from attack. A typical Strike Group may include, in addition to an aircraft carrier: Navy considers all ten carriers as a single class. Other modifications may be performed to update the ships' equipment. The ships were initially classified only as attack carriers but have been constructed with anti-submarine capabilities since USS Carl Vinson. These improvements include better radar systems and facilities which enable the ships to operate aircraft in a more effective Anti-submarine warfare role, including the fitting of common undersea picture CUP technology which uses sonar to allow for better assessment of the threat from submarines.

USS Theodore Roosevelt and later carriers have slight structural differences from the earlier Nimitz carriers such as improved protection for ordnance stored in their magazines. Bush , was designed as a "transition ship" from the Nimitz class to the replacement Gerald R. Bush incorporates new technologies including improved propeller and bulbous bow designs, a reduced Radar cross-section and electronic and environmental upgrades. The United States Navy lists the following ten ships in the Nimitz class: One of the first major operations in which the ships were involved was Operation Eagle Claw launched by USS Nimitz in after she had deployed to the Indian Ocean in response to the taking of hostages in the U.

Atlantic Fleet , [60] Eisenhower relieved Nimitz in this operation after her service in the Mediterranean Sea. During this exercise, two of the ship's F Tomcats shot down two Libyan aircraft in what became known as the Gulf of Sidra incident. The two most significant deployments the Nimitz class was involved in during the s were the Gulf War and its aftermath, and Operation Southern Watch in southern Iraq.

All active vessels were engaged in both of these to some extent, with Operation Southern Watch continuing until Throughout the s and more recently, Nimitz -class carriers have been deployed as part of humanitarian missions. While deployed in the Gulf War, Lincoln was diverted to the Pacific Ocean to participate alongside 22 other ships in Operation Fiery Vigil , evacuating civilians following the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on Luzon Island in the Philippines.

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In October , Lincoln deployed to Somalia to assist UN humanitarian operations there, spending four weeks flying patrols over the area around Mogadishu while supporting U. Roosevelt flew patrols in support of the Kurds over northern Iraq as part of Operation Provide Comfort in Truman ' s maiden deployment was in November The carrier's air wing flew combat sorties in support of Operation Southern Watch , including a strike on Iraqi air defense sites on 16 February , in response to Iraqi surface-to-air missile fire against United Nations coalition forces. This changed in response to the attacks, and the ship changed course to travel towards the North Arabian Sea, where she launched the first airstrikes in support of the operation on 7 October Following the attacks, John C.

All active ships have been involved to some extent in Iraq and Afghanistan since that time. This included the invasion in , as well as providing subsequent support for Operation Iraqi Freedom since then. The carriers have also provided aid after natural disasters. In order to refuel their nuclear power plants, the carriers each undergo a Refueling and Overhaul RCOH once in their service lives.

This is also the most substantial overhaul the ships undergo while in service and involves bringing the vessels' equipment up to the standards of the newest ships. The ship is placed in dry dock, and essential maintenance is carried out including painting of the hull below the waterline and replacement of electrical and mechanical components such as valves. Because of the large time periods between the ships' constructions, the armament and designs of the newer ships are more modern than those of the older ships.

In RCOH, the older ships are refitted to the standards of the newer ships, which can include major upgrades to the flight deck, aircraft catapults and combat systems as well as other upgrades such as improved radar systems, although precise details can vary significantly between the ships. The improvements normally take around four years to complete. Because of their status as the largest warships in the U. Navy, the deployment of an aircraft carrier can fulfill a symbolic role, not just in terms of a deterrent to an enemy, but often as a diplomatic tool, in strengthening relations with allies and potential allies.

The latter of these functions can take place either as a single visit to a country, in which senior naval officers are allowed to observe the operating of the carrier and to interact with its senior officers, [79] or as part of an international task force. In addition, carriers have participated in international Maritime security operations , combating piracy in the Persian Gulf and off the coast of Somalia. As on most large warships, there have been several incidents involving the death or injury of one or more crew members, although most have involved freak accidents or failures, such as a man overboard as a result of poor weather.

One of the highest-profile incidents was on 26 May , when an EA-6B Prowler crashed on the flight deck of Nimitz , killing 14 crewmen and injuring 45 others. While this in itself was not found to have directly caused the crash, the findings of the investigation prompted the introduction of mandatory drug testing of all service personnel. In cases of ditched aircraft, pilots have been able to eject safely in several cases. However, fatal aircraft crashes have occurred; in , Lt. Kara Hultgreen , the first female F Tomcat pilot, was killed while attempting to land on board Abraham Lincoln during a training exercise.

The fire was caused by unauthorized smoking in an area near improperly stored flammable refrigerant compressor oil. Nimitz -class carriers were designed to have a year service life.

Most of the difference in cost is attributed to the deactivation of the nuclear power plants and safe removal of radioactive material and other contaminated equipment. A new class of carriers, the Gerald R. Ford class , is being constructed to replace previous vessels after decommissioning. Ten of these are expected, and the first has entered service as of 22 July to replace Enterprise.

Most of the rest of these new carriers are to replace the oldest Nimitz ships as they reach the end of their service lives. Bush using an almost identical hull shape and technological and structural improvements. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For novel, see Nimitz Class novel. United States Navy portal. The Encyclopedia of Ships.

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Retrieved April 11, Retrieved 12 June Retrieved 18 December Background and Issues for Congress". US Department of the Navy.

U.S. Naval Air Power

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Would you like to tell us about a lower price? Learn more about Amazon Prime. Recent campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq have demonstrated that American carrier air power can conduct coordinated deepstrike missions well beyond coastal reaches, providing around the clock target coverage, consistently accurate target attack, and multiple successful targer attacks per sortie. Read more Read less. Prime Book Box for Kids. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Product details File Size: December 25, Sold by: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video.

Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. I purchased the book to look at the thinking, politics, economics, and strategic elements of the time. I thought the book delivered, for the time it was published I believe the argument for maintaining the carrier force is still relevant, given the nature of our foriegn policy, but the world landscape has changed as much as the technology.

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American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century
American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century
American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century
American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century
American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century
American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century
American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century American Carrier Air Power at the Dawn of a New Century

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