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(PD) Photo: United States Navy
The Nimitz Task Group from 1976 with USS South Carolina (CGN-37) (top), USS Nimitz (CVN-68) (center), and USS California (CGN-36) (bottom).

In the United States Navy, the ten ships of the Nimitz-class are its major aircraft carriers. The Gerald R. Ford-class carriers, entering construction, will supplement them.[1] They followed the one-of-a-kind USS Enterprise (CVN-65), built in 1961, though several conventionally powered carriers entered service thereafter. By now, all of the conventionally powered aircraft carriers of the U.S. Navy have been decommissioned, leaving only nuclear-powered carriers for the U.S.


This class of aircraft carriers is named after its lead ship, the USS Nimitz. That ship, in turn, memorializes Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.

CVN 77, USS George H.W. Bush, is intended as a transition between the Nimitz and Ford classes. New features include:[2]

  1. Passive Jet Blast Deflector: Redesigns and new materials mean reduced maintenance costs.
  2. Redesigned island: Improve flight deck access and reduce signature and electronic self-interference.
  3. Other Signature Reduction: Curved flight deck edges, enclosed antenna farms, smaller islands and internal aircraft elevators add up to maximum stealth.
  4. Aircraft Pit Stop: Semi-automated refueling and servicing in a new configuration and deck location provides faster, more efficient airwing pit stops and requires fewer people.
  5. Redesigned Hangar Deck: New designs reduce clutter.
  6. Manpower Reductions: Technology, space rearrangement, operational procedure changes, advanced sensor technologies and condition-based maintenance systems all allow for a smaller, specially-trained crew. Material movement devices, semi-autonomous, gravity compensated weapons handling devices, damage control automation systems and components will reduce the ship's crew and costs.
  7. Reconfigurable Spaces: Life-of-the-ship modular construction designs provide flexibility and reduce cost.
  8. Expanded Bandwidth: More onboard (Local area network_ and offboard capability gives the ship a communications edge.
  9. Zonal Electrical Distribution Systems: Isolate the potential for problems and minimizes the effect on the rest of the ship; crew laptops and other personal electronics, on- and off-duty, have greatly increased electrical demand


  • Builder: Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding., Newport News, VA.
  • First Date Deployed: May 3, 1975 (USS Nimitz)
  • Propulsion: Two nuclear reactors, four shafts
  • Length: 1,092 feet (332.85 meters)
  • Beam: 134 feet (40.84 meters)
  • Flight Deck Width: 252 feet (76.8 meters)
  • Displacement: Approximately 97,000 tons (87,996.9 metric tons) full load
  • Speed: 30+ knots (34.5+ miles per hour)
  • Crew:
    • Ship's Company: 3,200
    • Air Wing: 2,480.
  • Armament: Multiple NATO Sea Sparrow, Phalanx close-in weapons system, and RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) mounts.
  • Aircraft: Approximately 60+.


Typical air wing


  1. Fact File, U.S. Navy
  2. CVN 77 George H.W. Bush, Globalsecurity