Named after Chester W. Nimitz –a commander of the United States’ Pacific Navy aircraft fleet, the USS Nimitz is one of the biggest aircraft carriers in the world today and the first vessel to be launched under the Nimitz class of warships. The war ship was officially put into active duty in the year 1975 and from the time of its commission till now, has had an illustrious repertory as a war vessel.
The most important feature of the USS Nimitz is that the war ship uses nuclear power as a propelling power force rather the more conventional vessel-propelling fuels. Apart from the USS Nimitz which is nicknamed the Old Salt, there are nine other Nimitz class vessels – the last Nimitz class vessel was put into active duty in the year 2009 – and the entire fleet of warships is categorised as the world’s largest warships.
Originally categorised as a CVAN-68 vessel, the war ship was re-categorised as CVN-68 vessel in the year 1975.
Features and Specifications
Area-wise, there is no comparison of the aircraft carrier with any other war ship operating in contemporary times. In the over 30-years of its active duty, the features of the nuclear ship are unique and singular even when compared to the other eight ships in the Nimitz fleet.
- The ship can at a single time carry a crew of 3,184 persons. This includes 203 war personnel and 366 air-force personnel
- The aircraft carrier offers a speed of 31.5 knots and is supplied by two water reactors that are pressurised or supercharged and run four turbines simultaneously. As an alternative source of vessel power source, diesel engines are also provided to function as an effective back-up
- The Nimitz class flagship has a displacement of over 1, 00,000 tons
- In terms of dimensions, the ship measures 317 metres lengthwise, 40.8 metres beam wise and 11.9 metres draught wise
- The nuclear ship has a total area of 4.5 acres while the actual air-deck measures 333 metres by 77 metres. The air-space on the war vessel can be adjusted according to the nature of the mission to which the ship has been deployed
- It has an unlimited firing range and has state-of-the-art radar and other sensory defence systems in place
The Nimitz flagship and the rest of the fleet of the modern warships were built by the Newport News Shipbuilding yard in Virginia. The shipbuilding yard’s name has since been changed to Northrop Grumman Ship Systems.
USS Nimitz was originally docked at the Norfolk Naval Station up till the year 1987. From then on to 2001, Puget Sound in Washington became the home port for the war vessel. In 2001, following restoration and over-hauling, the ship’s home port was transferred to San Diego’s NAS North Island. In the year 2011, the ship’s home port has yet again been transferred – this time to Everett in Washington.
The modern warships have helped the United States’ air force to combat and counter attacks and in highly tough situations. In their absence, the country’s armed forces would not have been able to ward off assails which could have had a debilitating effect on the global security.
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