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Next-generation Aircraft Carrier CVN 21 Is Taking Shape

Next-Generation Aircraft Carrier CVN 21 Is Taking Shape

On the banks of the James River in Virginia, a new nuclear aircraft carrier class is taking shape at Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard. The CVN 21 class, which will replace the Nimitz class, features advanced capabilities that meet requirements for transformational systems set forth in "Sea Power 21", the United States Navy's vision for 21st century warfighting. Sources: Northrop Grumman et US Navy.

U.S. Navy Illustration courtesy Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding.

U.S. Navy Illustration courtesy Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding

Newport News, Virginia -- (NNS) June 30, 2006-- Artist Rendering - A conceptual rendering of CVN 78, the first of a new generation carrier design, CVN 21, for the US Navy, underway at Northrop Grumman Newport News. Construction is slated to begin in 2007. Innovations for the next-generation aircraft carrier include an enhanced flight deck with increased sortie rates, improved weapons movement, a redesigned island, a new nuclear power plant and allowance for future technologies and reduced manning.

U.S. Navy Illustration courtesy Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding.

U.S. Navy Illustration courtesy Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding

Advance construction of the CVN-21 project began on August 11, 2005. First unit (CVN-78) is scheduled to begin construction in 2007 and to be placed in commission in 2014 to replace USS Enterprise (CVN-65). Second unit (CVN-79) is then scheduled to start construction in 2012 and slated to be placed in commission in 2018 and then the third and final CVN-80will be procured

The mission of the CVN 21 Program is to conceptualize, design, build, test and deliver a state-of-the-art aircraft carrier that meets operational requirements of the United States Navy and results in specified reductions in acquisition costs, manning and weight while enhancing operational capabilities.

CVN 21 Design

Northrop Grumman is designing the CVN 21 class using the most technologically advanced systems in the shipbuilding industry:

  • CATIA (Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application) - a software package that allows manufacturers to simulate all the industrial design processes, from the pre-project phase through detailed design, analysis, simulation, assembly and maintenance
  • CAVE (Computer-Aided Virtual Environment) - a 3D immersive environment tool for viewing certain areas of the CVN 21 CATIA product model and for refinement of the construction strategy

Innovations for the CVN 21 class include:

  • Enhanced flight deck with increased sortie rates
  • Redesigned island
  • New nuclear power plant
  • Allowance for future technologies
  • Improved weapons movement that will more than double the capacity to produce and deliver smart munitions over that of the Nimitz-class design
  • Reduced manning by 30 percent, which correspondingly increases deployment availability by 25 percent
  • The largest electrical power production of any ship in the U.S. Navy, greater than two and a half times the electrical power of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
  • Design costs and new technology insertion are approximately $5.6 billion spread over the class

See also:



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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).