USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77)
is the tenth and last Nimitz class supercarrier
of the United States Navy
. She is named for former President George H. W. Bush
, who was a naval aviator
during World War II
. George H. W. Bush
is to be the final Nimitz
class aircraft carrier constructed; the next carrier built will be , the first of a new class
She is the second United States aircraft carrier to be named after a naval aviator (was the first). Other naval vessels named for aviators include frigates and , and destroyer , all named for aviators who commanded formations in the Battle of Midway. George H.W. Bush is also the second aircraft carrier, following Reagan, to be named after a living former President. While still a Nimitz class ship, George H. W. Bush differs significantly from her predecessors, even more so than the differences between CVN 68–70 and CVN 71–76.
Construction began in 2001 by the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, at a cost of $4.5 billion. The aircraft carrier was christened on 7 October 2006, and delivery is set for 2008. She is scheduled to be commissioned in 2009.
Features of CVN-77
Several features differentiate CVN-77 from other ships in the Nimitz
class. These include:
- Bulbous bow design: Improves hull efficiency and reduces drag.
- 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, and smaller islands.
- Aircraft pit stop: Semi-automated refueling and servicing in a new configuration and deck location provides faster, more efficient air wing 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 improves the ship's communications.
- 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.
- Vacuum Collection / Marine Sanitation Device (VC/MSD): Most ships in the U.S. Navy utilize a Collection Holding and Transfer (CHT) system to handle sewage waste. Several ships add a Vacuum collection capacity or VCHT. Septic systems, when used aboard ships are referred to as Marine Sanitation Devices, often used in U.S. Coast Guard ships. Bush is the first and only Carrier in the U.S. Navy to combine the two technologies. The "VCMSD" system onboard CVN 77 is one-of-a-kind. The next class of U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers will likely use a Plasma arc waste disposal system.