One of a kind

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Honors:  the only ship of her class, Bilgemunky‘s ‘old stomping ground’, and the site of the infamous Navy Numa Numa. 

The supercarrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-65), formerly CVA(N)-65, is the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the eighth U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name. Like her predecessor of World War II fame, she is nicknamed the “Big E”. At 1,123 feet (342.3 m), she is the longest naval vessel in the world, though her 93,500 tons displacement places her as the second heaviest naval vessel, surpassed only by the Nimitz-class. She is also the only aircraft carrier to house more than two nuclear reactors. Enterprise’s eight-reactor propulsion design was rather conservative, with each A2W reactor taking the place of one boiler. Unlike other carriers, the Enterprise was designed from a cruiser hull and she is the only carrier to be fitted with four rudders compared to the standard two. These unique design features are rumored to have made her slightly faster than other carriers in the fleet.

Enterprise was intended to be the first of a class of six, but construction costs ballooned and the remaining vessels were never laid down resulting in her being the only ship of her class. USS America (CV-66) was ordered as a conventional Kitty Hawk-class. CVN-67, with a new reactor design, was reordered during construction as the conventionally-powered USS John F. Kennedy. Series production of nuclear carriers finally commenced with USS Nimitz [CVN-68], the first of 10 Nimitz-class supercarriers. Because of her expense, Enterprise was launched without weapon systems (she was originally intended to receive two twin Terrier missile launchers); a later retrofit added three Phalanx mounts and two NATO Sea Sparrow missile launchers. In the 2000s her armament was refitted again, gaining two RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile launchers while dispensing with the forward-most Phalanx mount.

Enterprise is currently homeported at Norfolk, Virginia. As one of the oldest carriers in the fleet, she is scheduled for decommissioning in 2013-2015. Her intended replacement is the USS Gerald R. Ford [CVN-78].

General Characteristics

Displacement: approx. 93,500 tons full load
Length: 1,123 ft (342.3 m)
Beam: 132.8 ft (40.5 m)
Draft: 39 ft (11.9 m)
Propulsion: 8 x A2W reactor, 4 x steam turbine, 4 shafts, 280,000 shp (210 MW)
Speed: 30+ knots (56+ km/h, 34+ mph)
Range: Essentially unlimited
Complement: Ship’s company: 3,000 (2,700 Sailors, 150 Chiefs, 150 Officers)
Air wing: 1,800 (250 Pilots, and 1,550 Support personnel)
Armament: 2 Sea Sparrow launchers,
2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mounts,
2 RAM launchers
Armor: 8 inch (20 cm) aluminum belt (equivalent to 4 inch rolled homogeneous steel armour)
Aircraft carried: approx. 66:
Forty three F/A-18 Hornets;
Four EA-6B Prowlers;
Four E-2C Hawkeyes;
Six S-3 Vikings;
Five SH-60 Seahawks)
Though can hold up to 90 aircraft

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