Aircraft Carrier
The aircraft carrier is the centerpiece of the Battle Group. During any international crisis, the Navy first assesses where its carriers are, a testament to this massive ship's strategic importance. The carrier's mission is to provide a strong presence in times of peace, and to operate and support aircraft attacks on enemies, protect friendly forces and engage in sustained operations in war. The Nimitz-class carriers, of which there are seven in operation and two under construction, are the largest warships in the world.

Aircraft carrier

Their specifications are staggering:

Power Plant: Two nuclear reactors, four shafts
Length, overall: 1,092 feet (332.85 meters)
Flight Deck Width: 252 feet (76.8 meters)
Beam: 134 feet (40.84 meters)
Displacement: Approx. 97,000 tons full load
Speed: 30+ knots (34.5+ miles per hour)
Aircraft: 85
Cost: about $4.5 billion each
Crew: Ship's Company: 3,200 - Air Wing: 2,480
Armament: Four NATO Sea Sparrow launchers, 20mm Phalanx CIWS mounts: (3 on Nimitz and Dwight D. Eisenhower and 4 on Vinson and later ships of the class.)
Date Deployed: May 3, 1975 (USS Nimitz)

Carrier Landing See QuickTime movie of an EA6B landing aboard USS Independence from the point of view of the pilot (2.7MB).

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