New Aircraft Carrier to Be Christened in March '01; Sea Trials by '03.
The Navy's USS USS
1. United States Senate
2. United States ship
USS abbr (= United States Ship) → Namensteil von Schiffen der Kriegsmarine Ronald Reagan is scheduled to be christened in Newport News Newport News, independent city (1990 pop. 170,045), SE Va., on the Virginia peninsula, at the mouth of the James River, off Hampton Roads, near Norfolk; inc. 1896. , Va., on March 4. The 100,000-ton aircraft carrier, called CVN-76, will be part of the Nimitz class, but its design was changed significantly from its Nimitz-class predecessors.
About two-thirds of the Reagan is different from today's newest Nimitz-class carrier, the USS Harry Truman, said Mike Petters, vice president and general manager of aircraft carriers programs at Newport News Shipbuilding.
The March 4 christening christening: see baptism. date was selected to coincide with Ronald and Nancy Reagan's 49th wedding anniversary, Petters said in an interview during the Tailhook Association's naval aviation Naval aviation is the application of manned military air power by navies. Maritime aviation is the operation of aircraft in a maritime role under the command of land based forces such as RAF Coastal Command or United States Coast Guard. conference in Reno, Nev.
"If you drive by the dry dock today, you start to see the ship raking shape. It's the ninth and final ship of the Nimitz class," he said. Construction is 46 percent complete.
After the ship is christened, however, it will rake at least two years to get it ready for sea trials, before it can be commissioned by the Navy m early to mid 2003. The christening is only a launch day, Petters explained. "We don't hit them with a bottle and they slide down the ramp. Those days are gone."
The Reagan, which will replace the USS Constellation Three ships of the United States Navy have borne the name USS Constellation, in honor, according to the US Congress, of the "new constellation of stars" on the flag of the United States. (CV 64), was changed largely to accommodate naval combat requirements that have emerged during the past decade, particularly the "lessons from Desert Storm," Petters said. The Navy, for example, wanted to simplify the process of getting ordnance to the flight deck.
"So we redesigned the island house to include a weapons elevator. We moved the weapons elevator inside the island house to get us more storage area and facilitate ordnance handling," he said. "In today's Nimitz-class ships, you see an island and, behind the island, you see a radar mast. On the Reagan, you will only see the island because we incorporated the radar mast into the island, to make it one structure." The island will be placed on the flight deck next month. "As we went through the changes, it turned out that about two-thirds of the ship drawings are new, compared to the Truman."
One of the more drastic redesigns in the ship is a bulbous bow A bulbous bow, a feature of many modern ship hulls, is a protruding bulb at the bow (or front) below the waterline. Usually visible only when a ship is in drydock, the bulb modifies how water flows around the hull, reducing drag and increasing in speed, range, and fuel efficiency. unit, which will give the carrier a larger under-the-water line, Petters explained. "People who saw the structure thought we were building a submarine. It's that much bigger than the current carriers," he added. A submarine bow is 35 feet in diameter. The Reagan's bow is 30 feet in diameter. "It will change the way the ship handles," said Petters.
The bulbous bow was designed to improve the efficiency of the hull, said Petters, "It helps with the drag and sea keeping." The new bow changes the way the flow of water comes down the side of the ship, thus changing the center of buoyancy. The upshot is that it makes the propulsion system Noun 1. propulsion system - a system that provides a propelling or driving force
system - instrumentality that combines interrelated interacting artifacts designed to work as a coherent entity; "he bought a new stereo system"; "the system consists of a motor and a 4 percent more efficient. "Over a 50-year lifetime, that is a tremendous change in the way the ship will be managed," said Petters. "A single point change in the design will change how the propulsion system will act."
The Reagan also has a more powerful air conditioning air conditioning, mechanical process for controlling the humidity, temperature, cleanliness, and circulation of air in buildings and rooms. Indoor air is conditioned and regulated to maintain the temperature-humidity ratio that is most comfortable and healthful. system, which the Navy said was needed to improve sailors' living conditions living conditions npl → condiciones fpl de vida
living conditions npl → conditions fpl de vie
living conditions living when deployed in sweltering swel·ter·ing
1. Oppressively hot and humid; sultry.
2. Suffering from oppressive heat.
swel areas, such as the Persian Gulf Persian Gulf, arm of the Arabian Sea, 90,000 sq mi (233,100 sq km), between the Arabian peninsula and Iran, extending c.600 mi (970 km) from the Shatt al Arab delta to the Strait of Hormuz, which links it with the Gulf of Oman. .
Even though carrier designers cannot predict what the world will be like in 2050 or 2060, they must design a ship that can last at least five decades, Petters explained. "You can accommodate that by keeping the design simple and flexible," he said. The key is to make the ship big enough. "We always end up with a large flight deck, a large ship, which gives us the flexibility to accommodate multiple classes of aircraft."
Future carriers must be sturdier than today's ships because the Navy keeps them at sea longer, and expects to continue to do so in the decades ahead, Petters noted. The USS Nimitz, which currently is being refueled at Newport News, will be our of service longer than the expected two-year refueling downtime, because it needs more repairs and overhaul than had been anticipated, he said. "That ship has been ridden hard. ... It's been worked a lot harder than what we thought it would be."
The follow-on carrier to the Reagan, the CVN-77, will nor be part of the Nimitz class, but will serve as a bridge to the next class, said Petters. Even though Congress already has approved funding for CVN-77, the Navy and the shipyard have yet to agree on contract terms for the construction of the ship, which would be delivered in 2008.
One of the most complicated parts of the contract negotiation has to do with the research and development needed for a new warfare system Warfare systems are tactical systems and tactical mission-support systems, such as weapons, sensors, command and control, navigation, aviation support systems, mission planning, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, interior and exterior communications, topside design, and . Newport News awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin For the former company, see .
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a leading multinational aerospace manufacturer and advanced technology company formed in 1995 by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta. Corporation for the integration of the warfare systems. In the past, the combat systems had been provided as government furnished equipment." For the CVN-77, "the Navy decided they would get more value if the sensors, weapons and information systems were integrated by a single contractor," said Petters.
"This is one of the most complicated contracts that you could imagine," he said. For the warfare system, for example, the goal is to have advanced multi-function and search radar systems. But those systems are nor being developed under the CVN-77 program, but under the Navy's new surface combatant A ship constructed and armed for combat use with the capability to conduct operations in multiple maritime roles against air, surface and subsurface threats, and land targets. program, the DD-21. "We are expecting to benefit from the DD-21 program development," Petters said. "That concept is not finished today so we have to work through how we are going to contract that.