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Bush father and son and several relatives joined hundreds others at the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, where the $6 billion, 1,092-foot-long carrier is being built. It is not yet finished and is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in late 2008.
The 10th of the Nimitz-class carriers — the largest warships in the world — features technological advancements that make it a bridge to the next generation of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
On Sunday, the carrier was to be launched from its dry-dock into the James River and taken to an outfitting berth, where work on interior systems will continue.
The former president was the youngest pilot in the Navy when he joined, receiving his commission and naval aviator wings before age 19.
Bush flew torpedo bombers off the aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto. In 1944, he was on a mission over the Pacific when Japanese anti-aircraft fire hit his plane. Bush parachuted into the sea and was rescued by a Navy submarine. He later was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals for his Navy service in the Pacific theater.
Capt. Kevin O'Flaherty, the carrier's prospective commanding officer, is in charge of about 330 sailors now attached to the ship. He said he eventually will be responsible for about 3,000 crew members when the ship is put into service. It is not known where the carrier is to be stationed.
Features of CVN 77
Bulbous bow design: Improves hull efficiency and reduces drag. This feature is not included in the model used for the announcement ceremony, and was first used on the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)
Passive jet blast deflector: Redesigns and new materials mean reduced maintenance costs.
Island designs: Improve flight deck access and reduce signature and electronic self-interference.
Signature reduction: Curved flight deck edges, enclosed antenna farms, smaller islands and internal aircraft elevators add up to maximum stealth.
Aircraft pit stop: Semi-automated refueling and servicing in a new configuration and deck location provides faster, more efficient airwing pit stops and requires fewer people.
Hangar bay: New designs reduce clutter.
Manpower reductions: Technology, space rearrangement, operational procedure changes, advanced sensor technologies and condition-based maintenance systems all allow for a smaller, specially-trained crew.
Reconfigurable spaces: Life-of-the-ship modular construction designs provide flexibility and reduce cost.
Expanded bandwidth: More onboard and offboard capability gives the ship a communications edge.
Zonal electrical distribution systems: Isolate the potential for problems and minimizes the effect on the rest of the ship.
Automation insertion: Material movement devices, semi-autonomous, gravity compensated weapons handling devices, damage control automation systems and components will reduce the ship's crew and costs.
Originally posted by D4rk Kn1ght
Orange thats actually a really cool job you have there! Working on the biggest floating weapons platform on earth wouldn't spoil my day and thats for sure - I could look at and walk around ships all day if i was allowed to - Just watching them go from the bare skeleton to battle ready systems is amazing..
But i guess a little bit of blase is allowed if you seen it all before....