DID’s Revised CVN-21 Briefing
Some nations have aircraft carriers. The USA has super-carriers. The French Charles De Gaulle Class nuclear carriers displace about 43,000t. India’s new Vikramaditya/ Admiral Gorshkov Class will have a similar displacement. The future British CVF Queen Elizabeth Class and related French PA2 Project are expected to displace about 55,000t-65,000t, while the British Invincible Class carriers that participated in the Falklands War weigh in at around 22,000t. HMS Invincible actually compares well to Italy’s new Cavour Class (27,000t), and Spain’s Principe de Asturias Class (17,000t). The USA’s Nimitz Class and CVN-21, in contrast, fall in the 90,000t-105,000t range. Hence the unofficial designation “super-carriers.” Just one of these ships packs a more potent air force than many nations – and as we saw during the recent tsunami, their capabilities can make a huge difference in a wide variety of situations.
The USA isn’t resting on its laurels, however; the new CVN-21 Class will resemble the Nimitz Class super-carriers in size, but a slew of changes and new technologies are promising improved operational effectiveness, substantial efficiency savings, and future upgrade potential. Along those lines, Raytheon passed a recent systems requirements review (SRR) for the CVN-21 Class’ electronics. They’re the industry lead for integration of all government furnished combat systems, C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and aviation support systems.