- USS Enterprise Page
SPECIFICATIONS PHOTOGRAPHS (Click on the pictures for an enlarged photo)

Designation: CVN
Length: 1123 ft
Width: 252 ft
Beam: 133 ft
Displacement: 89,900 tons
Propulsion: 8 nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Speed: 30+ knots
Crew: 5,830
Airwing: 85 fixed, rotary
- 3 X 8 Sea Sparrow SAM
- 4 X 20mm Phalanx CIWS
Elevators: 4
Catapaults: 4
Ships in class: 1
CVN-65 USS Enterprise
The USS Enterprise was the world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, having eight reactor powering four shafts, two of those reactors reactors powering each shaft. With nuclear power came the ability for aircraft carries to sustain operations longer, have more endurance themselves, and the many other capabilities and innovations now common to the Nimitz class nuclear aircraft carriers.

CVN-65 is the eighth American warship to be christened the USS Enterprise, following a long, illustrious history that dates back to the Revolutionary war, and includes the most highly decorated warship of World War II, the Big "E", CV-6.

The new nuclear powered era in aircraft carrier operations ushered in by the Enterprise, gave her a maximum published speed of 35 knots (though persistant claims by former sailors indicate she can do 50 knots when necessary) and an estimated endurance of five years. By eliminating the need for oil storage and stacks it also provided her, and follow-on nuclear carriers, with over twice the aviation fuel capacity of their largest predecessors.

The phased array radar (PAR) mounted on the sides of her distinctive square island at the time, led the way to the now common PARs seen on many ships throughout the world, not the least of which are the AEGIS cruisers and destroyers that help protect her. Over the years the Enterprise has received numerous major upgrades to her machinary, aircraft, weapons, and electronics system, including four refuelings of her nuclear reactor cores, itself a testament to her design and the good care and maintenance given her by her charges.

At the time of her launch, the Enterprise marked a new high for the US Navy’s development aircraft carrier aviation, a development that has now led through the Nimitz Class Carriers, to the new innovation designed into the Ford Class, next-generation aircraft carriers, which will replace the Enterprise in 2013. That overall development, begun in 1922, with the old 15-knot Langley as an experimental aircraft carrier, progressed to the nuclear powered Enterprise within the service lives of quite a few individuals that were still on active duty at the time the Enterprise was launched.

Since her launch in 1961, the USS Enterpise has blazed the trail for almost 52 years, protecting sea lanes and freedom, and projecting America's national interests all over the globe. When she is replaced in 2013, after an astounding 52 years of service, the Enterprise will have more than earned the name of the "grand old lady of the seas".

The Enterprise is slated for her final deployment, her 22nd, from March through September of 2012 to the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf conducting Maritime Security operations. She will be accompanied in this historic voyage by the other members of her Strike Group, the gudied missile AEGIS cruiser USS Vicksburg, CG-69, and the three guided missile AEGIS destroyers, USS Nitze, DDG-94, USS Porter, DDG-78, and USS Williams, DDG-95. After this voyage, the USS Enterprise will begin her decommissioning, slated to be decommissioned in 2013 on or about the launch of the new Ford Class Carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, CVN-78.

NOTE: PETITION to name the 3rd Ford Class Nuclear Aircraft Carrier, CVN-80, as the USS Enterprise

Last Update: June 13, 2012
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Jeff Head is an engineering consultant with many years experience in the power, defense, and computer industries. He currently works for the federal government helping maintain and protect regional infrastructure. He is a member of the U.S. Naval Institute, and is also the author of a self-published and best-selling series of military techno-thrillers called the Dragon's Fury that projects a fictional third world war arising out of current events. You can learn more about that series by clicking on the pictures of the novel covers below:


Copyright © 2005-2012 by Jeff Head


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