Friday, March 13, 2015

The USS Ronald Reagan; the ninth Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)is complemented by 5,680 crew members with 2,480 of that number representing her air wing. Power is derived from twin A4W type Westinghouse brand nuclear reactors and 4 x steam turbines each spinning 4 x shaft propellers through 260,000 total shaft horsepower. A top speed of over 30 knots can be achieved in ideal conditions and range is essentially unlimited thanks to her use of nuclear power. The Reagan displaces at 97,000 tons.

The USS Ronald Reagan is the ninth vessel in the ten-strong Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers beginning with the initial USS Nimitz (CVN 69). The vessels are a powerful family of warship, providing a myriad of combat options that also also as a regional deterrent by its capability to move into volatile areas at a moments notice. Her mighty air wing is her primary strength as much as her crew is her lifeblood and the thousands that keep her afloat represent the current power of the United States Navy since the pivotal days of World War 2 in the Pacific Theater of War.

The USS Ronald Reagan was ordered in 1994 and laid down in 1998, with construction undertaken by Northrop Grumman Newport News and Dry Dock Company in New Port, Virginia. She was launched in 2001 and officially commissioned in 2003. She is named after former US President Ronald Reagan. The vessel cost $4.5 billion dollars.

The Reagan is offered some minor defensive implements in the case she is directly attacked by an enemy that has made it through her defensive network of support ships and her airwing. This includes 2 x Sea Sparrow Mk 29 surface-to-air missile systems (navalized versions of their air-to-air missile counterparts) and 2 x RIM-116 RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) launchers. Her airwing is made up of some 90 aircraft of various types including helicopters for Search & Rescue (SAR) and Anti-Submarine Warfare. Her fixed-wing complement is largely made up of F/A-18 Hornet multi-role fighter.



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