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Design & Preparations Continue for the USA's New CVN-21 Super-Carrier

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posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 06:30 AM

DID's June 10, 2005 article Controlling the Defense Procurement Spiral noted that "The new CVN 21 carrier, for instance, is expected to cost $13.7 billion - almost double its original estimate, and more than double the cost of a new Nimitz-Class carrier." Yet the importance of the carrier fleet, and the life cycle of its nuclear super-carriers, have kept support for this program strong even as concerns over cost growth have risen.

As the successor to the 102,000 ton Nimitz/Theodore Roosevelt Class super-carriers, the CVN-21 program aims to increase aircraft sortie generation rates by 20%, increase survivability to better handle future threats, require fewer sailors, and have depot maintenance requirements that could support an increase of up to 25% in operational availability. The combination of a new design nuclear propulsion plant and an improved electric plant are expected to provide 2-3 times the electrical generation capacity of previous carriers, which in turn enables systems like an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS, replacing steam-driven catapults), Advanced Arresting Gear, and a new integrated warfare system that will leverage advances in open systems architecture. Other CVN-21 features include an enhanced flight deck, improved weapons handling and aircraft servicing efficiency, and a flexible island arrangement allowing for future technology insertion. See the graphic, above, for more details.

Advance construction on the as yet unnamed CVN 78 is beginning in 2005, allowing shipbuilders to test the design-build strategy before overall construction begins in 2007. CVN 78 will be the first true CVN-21 Class ship, though the transitional Nimitz Class CVN 77 George H. W. Bush will incorporate some elements like the improved nuclear power plant, improved internal electronics and communications, et. al. The target date for CVN 78 commissioning is 2014, whereupon it will replace America's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier - the 50+ year old USS Enterprise (CVN 65). CVN 78 is also expected to serve for 50 years, from 2014-2064.

More about the article

posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 10:29 AM
50 years and it's nuclear fuel will either never have to be replaced or just once.

[edit on 20-11-2005 by NWguy83]

posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 12:04 AM
These new carriers and submarines are being designed by computer. This is it gives better perspective on how to put 75 feet of pipe ..for example...into 15 feet of space.

I wonder though if these guys doing this designing have factored in the concept of how a person gets their arm or a arm with a tool into these spaces to put much of this pipe and support equipment together and make it up. It seems that much of the designs leave out room for a human hand or hand with a tool to work in these spaces. This does not appear to be "factored" in the design. Talk about cramped spaces. Wow!! I am sure we are going to see alot of people modifying existing tools,...cutting them, rewelding, and forming tools to get inside these tight spaces to get the job done. An astonishing process to watch among those who can figure this out.


posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 12:12 AM
I like the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System seems like a good concept. An electromagnetic launch system could offer higher launch energy capability over existing steam catapults , as well as improvements in areas like weight, volume, maintenance and increased controllability / reliability

posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 01:09 AM

Originally posted by orangetom1999
I wonder though if these guys doing this designing have factored in the concept of how a person gets their arm or a arm with a tool into these spaces to put much of this pipe and support equipment together and make it up. It seems that much of the designs leave out room for a human hand or hand with a tool to work in these spaces. This does not appear to be "factored" in the design. Talk about cramped spaces. Wow!! I am sure we are going to see alot of people modifying existing tools,...cutting them, rewelding, and forming tools to get inside these tight spaces to get the job done. An astonishing process to watch among those who can figure this out.

Actaully with todays computer programs they make the ship (or what ever their modeling) more designed for a person...they use a person which is figured as the average man...I think they put it at 200 lbs and 6 ft tall...and the guy has being made with operable arms and legs that move like a humans and if something is put into place where the modeled guy in the computer program cant reach or bend his arm in that direction then it gets re-designed.

The same goes for auto manufacturers, and aircraft companies.
So you couldn't be more wrong...they are more space efficient then ever before.

posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 01:25 AM
opps...forgot to comment on tha damn topic.

I'm glad they re-designed looks much better now then it used to.

Although it seems that steel it being used less and less in ship builidng, it seems that composites are better all around. and I think the DD(X) it going to be composite. and other countries have a lot of ships made from composite materials......So i'm curious as to why the Navy wants there next-gen carrier to be made from steel.
It probably just has to do with money I suppose, since its never being done on this scale and what not.

anyways...heres a better looking picture...i'm a sucker for good artist renderings.

(BTW, looks like the navy plans on sticking with the X-47B, since theres a few of them on deck)

The same pic in high res.

Northrop Grumman
Enhancements being incorporated in the CVN 21 class design include flight deck changes resulting in increased sortie rates; improved weapons movement; a redesigned island; a new nuclear power plant; increased electrical power generation capacity; allowance for future technologies and reduced workload for the sailors, translating to a smaller crew size.

posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 01:51 AM
Cool pic Murcielago

I notice they added a few Northrop looking UAVs on the deck in that picture

posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 02:15 AM
It is about time a newer carrier design was introduced. The last new design was over 35 years ago and much has changed over that time period. However, do not expect a radical departure from the older designs because of the need for equipment compatability, logistics support commonality and training requirement commonality.

The U.S. Navy is very big on what they call Equivalent Levels of Modernization. They hold a couple of high level meetings each year (called Shipalt Conferences) to go over everything that is being proposed as a modification to any of the carriers just so they can be assured the ships, crews and other things will all work together even if they get transferred from ship to ship.

[edit on 22-11-2005 by Astronomer68]

posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 12:19 AM
I cant imagine what you could possibly be thinking???

You posted:
"Actaully with todays computer programs they make the ship (or what ever their modeling) more designed for a person...they use a person which is figured as the average man"

I'm refering to the designers using the average man ..working and trying to make repairs in some of these "engineered spaces" with a tool. They are so cramped it is obvious that they left out the size of the hand of the average a tool. It looks good on paper..and they get the pipe to fit in there three dimensionally but try to put a hand in there..and make the usual turns...then try to put a tool in a persons hand..and then use it.

I've seen what they are doing on some of these designs .and Im not impressed. Some of these navy people are going to have a hell of a time out at sea making repairs. Especially the newer guys who havent been around the block long enought to develope some thinking on how to solve some of these three dimensional problems. Those who can will really stand out.
Like I said looks good on computer..but try and repair one....that in some instances was obviously not factored in the computer.


posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 09:06 AM

Actually, it's called 'MANPRINT' and it is indeed a very deliberate study of human ergonomic efficiencies in specific areas. It is a given that a scientist or CAD engineer may not have the same mindset about 'what is possible' but increasingly sophisticated pre-build virtual simulation does help generate later training manuals and such as a function of 'how to do it right the first time'.

That said, the entire CV-21 concept is a joke.

Even with a major switch to commercial-marine grade systems engineering, (of which the electrical grid is just one battle redundant vs. cheaper switchout) they are still looking at 2100-2500 crew in a world for which we 'gap' more and more every year because we have too few hulls and too many billets on the big decks.

The old standard for the class, the so-called 'Roosevelt Load' was some 70-75 aircraft. While most carriers today set sail with fewer than 40.

One need only read 'The Carrier Myth'-

To see what a load of bull that is in terms of REAL surge-vice-sustained sortie generation 'off the pointy end' and this was /before/ "From the Sea, Forward!" defined naval aviation policy as requiring us to go 400nm inland to fight 'littorally'.

This notion is made worse by the fact that, if the 100 million dollar F-35C is built at all, it will be on-deck in similar numbers to the A-6 (single squadron 'heavy all weather') which means you are seeing more JSF's on that carrier than the entire airwing will actually be allocated.

At the same time, the USN is fighting furiously to take out another 'preorder' on a 20-24 multiyear contract 'Lot IV' for the Ultra Bug because /that/ 53 million dollar airframe is being underbuilt (to the tune of about 300) at only 448 jets. At a time when the HUG program isn't working and centerbarrel (plus G restrictions, plus weight restrictions) efforts on the Bug-1 are throwing bad money after good.

The irony being that Bug-2 represents an airframe which is inferior to all it's predecessors in nearly all roles for range and aero performance. An airframe whose fatigue effects the buzzing wing and toed pylons are not fully understood even now. An airframe for which up to four aircraft PER SQUADRON are already required to generate sufficient combat tanking to push-up the Bug-1, crippling the Super Horror's own combat capabilities for the worlds most expensive whale.

'Meanwhile' the A-45CN and A-47 programs are being deliberately downplayed in the hopes of their dying a death of 'just one more generation!' deliberate neglect. Keeping UCAV technology (for which JPALS is optimized) from from utterly replacing the manned platforms becuase it's a dead cert that, by 2015, three things will be happening:

1. We will /still/ be fighting bush wars in which the definition of victory is hours not minutes over an infantry patrol some 1,000nm inland.
2. Tactical Ballistic Weapons will all be getting nuclear and/or MARV warheads to target CVSF's from upwards of 1,500nm out.
3. DEWs and Hunting (Turbo) SAM weapons will be making life a continual Russian Roulette gamble on a random-encounter basis with S2A weapons that are not defeatable.

All of which point out that manned jets (which are huge deckprinted) may not even BE the 'way forward'. Certainly not to the extent of justifying a 100,000 ton class supercarrier of which we will be /lucky/ to afford 4 to replace the 8 Nimitz class which will need replacing before 2030.

The weight of the ship in turn largely dictates the nuclear plant. But the latter is a /mess/ (massive investment for huge volumetric waste) in steam kettle technology for which specialist training and certification as well as port priveleges are mandatory. The use of conventional shafts vice azipods are another example of legacy-inheritance 'non thinking' as you basically end up paying a massive weight penalty in both structural carrythru and penetration seal as well as the LENGTH of the drive train itself.

All of which is pure bull because you don't typically need to make turns for more than 7-11 knots to get 20-30 knot WOD going and UCAVs will be so light (and such excellent lifting body designs) that even this may be 'excessive' with the energy of the new EMALS.

The Island Going Aft is better than nothing but it and the angle deck continue to hog 2/3rds the deck space while the notion that you are going to shoot-forward brings into question the effect on the deckpark with the aft area taken away from the waist. I also personally question the sea keeping qualities of a large mass resting on a corner post like that. LOTS of potential for heel-and-roll in a heavy sea and you are just that much farther aft from a see-to-steer perspective.

Given you /want/ to keep a minimum of three cats available, a much, MUCH, better solution is the STRAC or SWATH layout and dumping the island for a residual MEMS type enclosure. If you put the elevators amidships and aft and run with twin, _straight_, runways each about 400ft (the size of the angle deck alone, presently), you can run simultaneous shoot and recover ops with easy wingspan clearance, side to side, while surging to an alpha launch capability with the entire aft end of the ship available for rapid feed to the JBDs.

You may also (finally) get an ability to routinely bring large C-130 class platforms aboard in the replacement super-whale, URP and COD mission (theoretically being able to replace entire airwings if not gold/blue crews 'underway' to sustain-forward without leaving a combat area for an uncertain port of call).

All in a 50-60,000 ton class vessel for which the ability to carry crated UCAVs takes you from a 10-20 plane airwing to 70-100 in a few hours of knocktogether (much like the WWII class vessels, the smallest of which carried 85-90 airframes while the Essex took this up to 100-120). Because UCAVs can by made small enough to do this while manned jets cannot.

NOW, added to the 'no fatigue' variable that is UCAV on-station loiter and immediate turn-upon-return, YOU CAN replace the AEF/GSTF as a fully capable (independent) power projector.

There are other problems, the ESSM are worthless against supersonic threats or aeroballistics. You really need a Sea Light class or better DEW to handle ALL terminal defense with SM.6 ERAM and OTH midcourse (HAEUAV) on a couple longshot goalkeepers attriting the ASST/ASUW shooters upwards of 400km out. The notion that electronic arrays are 'new' is ludicrous, Big-E had them upon commisioning back in the /60's/. Why you would want to scream RF from such (large, easily damaged, class-specific) systems when a simple SPS-48 3D and a bunch of satcomms/direct microwave minimasts get you equal or better connectivty to the CHEAP AND EASY TO LOSE radiators in the CG/DDG classes I will never understand.

That said, it doesn't really matter because, even with the 'facetted' island, the general configuration of the ship remains impractical for signature control and likely always will be to anyone with an overhead or other ASST (ROTHR) capability to see air ops from inside 400nm. Which of course agin means that if you want to survive the sighting as much as attack phase of junior's OODA loop, you'd sure as hell better do it with a 'natural' 1,000nm radius (air) platform servicing bubble around the boat..

CVN-21 is likely going to be a stone beach to transit through any of the major canals. Just like the Nimitz before it.

It's 'Lloyds Value', coupled to an airwing ideal that makes no acknowledgement of the need to operate in deep blue (200nm or more offshore) while projecting inland enables all kinds of mine, autonomous sub and 'special' (SCT) weapons even beyond the ballistic threat. And in turn billows out the sail on all the support classes necessary to both presweep and close escort the battle deck. And Fleet Train feed it.

If you have one deck and 1-2 escorts, waaaaaaay out there, you can have 2 decks operating on a forward and back or split-axis basis all the more readily. This also adds to survivability and role flex more than a massive CVSF can achieve.

Again, this is quite possible in a 50-60K ton class which is diesel-electric to about 17-25 knots and built in a civillian yard under competitive bid for about 1-2 billion dollars (anybody who can do a cruise ship or a VLCC can do a simple carrier). And properly designed, such a vessel should have no more than 800-900 crew and another 300-400 in the airwing which is ONE THIRD that necessary for todays crew composite.

We just have to rest control away from the HG&U admirals who I swear must be in at least their 90's as they still think in terms of Roosevelt and Big Sticks rather than TRUE 'presence' (short cruises, lots of hulls, small but expandable airwings) in an SCS or CVS+ class system.


posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 10:09 AM
intresting post. I am aware of the development of UAVs. Also the CAD usage in designing ships.
I am also aware that there is much discussion going on about smaller carriers in the future rather than the huge super carriers being designed and built now. The US Navy is heavily stuck on Nuclear designs for propulsion. It would be a major feat to get them to buy into diesel or gas turbine designs.

Curious here about your background. Are you in ship design or construction??

The complaints about design processes for which I was making was something I had seen last weekend on a submarine. It was obvious to me someone was going to catch hell in the arena of maintaining repairs. Most Navy personel dont have long refined backgrounds in repair techniques per se. It takes a few years to even develop the skills or modifying tools etc. Also ..some of the tools the Navy issues are pitiful.


posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 01:22 PM
Ch1466, what do you think is an effective manner to retain our power projection, naval superiority, and budget since the new CV project "is a joke"?

Build more old style carriers? (Cost to service them goes through the roof)

Upgrade the old carriers? (It's been done over and over. They have reached the limit of useful upgrade.)

Do nothing? (Kiss naval superiority goodbye.)

posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 01:33 PM
What kind of planes will be ont his carrier, Super Hornets and F-35...??? And what about the escort ships...????

posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 01:44 PM
Idealy the DDX destroyers and what aircraft you mentioned, though i doubt they will ever be able to part with some of the older aircraft for support missions. It doesnt have to be shiny to drop bombs.

posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 09:43 AM
Thats if they don`t kill the DD(X) ship completely.

posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 11:37 AM
Why? Does the US Navy Really NEED a Super-Carrier? Don't they have them 'nuff already?

[edit on 26/11/05 by Souljah]

posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 12:08 PM

Originally posted by Souljah
Why? Does the US Navy Really NEED a Super-Carrier? Don't they have them 'nuff already?

[edit on 26/11/05 by Souljah]

If they dont start planning on the future carriers now...then we wont have carriers in the future. Its still a l-o-n-g ways from construction.

posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 12:44 PM

Originally posted by Harlequin
Thats if they don`t kill the DD(X) ship completely.

Haven't you heard the news? the DD(X)is a go and eight of the ships have been signed off so far.

New US destroyer sails ahead

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 1:43 p.m. ET

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon has opted to press ahead with a new multibillion-dollar destroyer being developed by Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Dynamics as the centerpiece of the U.S. Navy's future fleet, Navy officials said on Wednesday.

posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 12:49 PM
Just like they said the F-35a is a go and squadrons are to be in service to replace the F-16`s

and now its dead to pay for more raptors.

posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 02:28 PM
That thing looks like a floating Island.

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