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Aircraft Carriers

Nimitz “Super Carrier”

All 10 of the Nimitz class carriers were built by Newport News Shipbuilding Company here in Virginia, and cost approximately $4.5 Billion each. Nimitz class carriers have a complement of 3,200 with an air wing complement of 2,480. They are armed with two or three NATO Sea Sparrow launchers and 20mm Phalanx CIWS (close in weapons system) mounts. On a typical deployment this class of carrier has around 90 various aircraft on board. Nimitz Carriers are stationed here in Norfolk as well as San Diego California and Everett Washington. With an overall length of 1,092 ft (333 m) and full-load displacements of over 100,000 long tons they are the largest warships built in service. They are also fast for their size, using two nuclear reactors four steam turbines and 4 shafts, they can reach speeds around 30 knots. Stationed in Norfolk:

Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) Commissioned October 18, 1977

George Washington (CVN-73) Commissioned July 4, 1992

USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Commissioned December 9, 1995


Theodore Roosevelt Subclass

This subclass of carrier was first launched in 1984, and is stationed here in Norfolk, Everett Washington, Yokosuka Japan, and Bremerton Washington. Stationed in Norfolk are:

Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) Commissioned July 25, 1998

Ronald Reagan Subclass

The Ronald Reagan and other later carriers are slightly different structurally than the first Nimitz carriers. These carriers have improved protection for ordnance stored in their magazines, as well as an upgraded flight deck for ballistic protection. This class of ship is stationed in Norfolk Virginia and in San Diego California. Stationed in Norfolk:

George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) Commissioned January 10, 2009

Gerald R. Ford Subclass

The Gerald R. Ford is the subclass of carriers currently under construction by the US Navy, with a total of 10 planned for construction. These new carriers will eventually take the place of the Nimitz class. While the Ford class will have a smaller hull compared to the previous Nimitz class, they will incorporate much more advanced technologies, including new stealth mechanics as well as an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS). The Ford class of Carriers will also have more automation than previous carriers, allowing for a much smaller crew, and reducing the “whole life cost” of the new carriers being built. Stationed in Norfolk:

Gerald R Ford (CVN-78) Commissioned July 22, 2017