USS Enterprise CVN 65 (English Version )

Article écrit par : Claude Balmefrezol

Mis en ligne le 20/07/2008 à 21:59:17


The CVAN 65 Entreprise
French Version

If there is an emblematic american carrier aircraft   is the USS Enterprise
In this article we'll talk about the operational career Enterprise CVN-65  from 1960 to 2008 which will beings also presented 2 walk aurounds
First a walk around  of the model to 1 / 100° presented  in the Aviation Museum of Le Bourget near  Paris with a Big E in a state before 1979
And in the 2nd    will be a walk around of  the Big E in realized during a stay  in Croatia and 2 pics s were provided by Laurent-thanks Laurent )
This Vessel when it is launched on September 24th  1960 is not the first Enterprise  of the US Navy . In fact six boats brought this name on the U.S. Navy .But it  is the second aircraft carrier to bear this name is
Indeed it was preceded by an aircraft carrier of the same name which was launched in 1934.
The CV6 was nicknamed the Pacific Survivor
Indeed it was  in all the big battles of WW 2  
If he narrowly escaped destruction during the attack on Pearl Harbour it is with the Hornet during the Doolittle, raid upon Tokyo ,Midway ,Guadalcanal ,Tarawa Mariana ,Leyte and his aircrafts  took part in the destruction of IJN Yamato. The Big E received a score of 20 Battle Wars
Despite his service record  she will not be le e saved by being transformed into a museum and she une will be scrappeld between 1959 and 1960.
In the meantime her successor is launched  on September 24th  1960
It was with his 89000 tons of displacement  mightiest warship to ever sail the seas until the aircraft carrier since the launch of the  Nimitz class with 93500 tonnes of displacement.
Moreover it is the first Nuclear aircraft carrier never launched the World

In fact in 1960 Enterprise was the longest carrier in the Navy with 335.64 m length also the tallest 76m and fastest 30 knots/hour) The carrier was initially approved under President Truman in 1950, but was cut from the budget in 1953. The skyrocketing costs of nuclear ships (in all, the Nautilus program cost $65 million) caused both the Department of Defense and Congress to question their cost-effectiveness . But Korean conflict gave at the admiral Rickover, the opportunity to defend his request for a nuclear carrier.And in 1954, funds for the nuclear carrier were reinstated
The first idée of an nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was issued in1952 . AEC and the Navy decided that Westinghouse would build the reactor and that the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company would develop the shipboard features. Westinghouse already had a good technical base for the project from its work on the reactor prototype in Idaho.
The first of the eight reactors installed achieved initial criticality on December 2nd 1960, shortly after the carrier was launched. After three years of operation during which she steamed more than 207,000 miles, Enterprise was refueled from November 1964 to July 1965. Her second set of cores provided about 300,000 miles steaming. Refueled again in 1970 the third set of cores lasted for eight years until replaced in 1979-82 overhaul. There are two reactors for each of the ship’s four shafts. The eight reactors feed 32 heat exchangers. She completed a fourth refueling in the mid-1990s and a fith refueling in  
Built as a Forrestal class design modified USS Enterprise was the world’s second nuclear-powered warship after the CGN 9 cruiser Long Beach 
This new dispensation in propulsive machinery would give her a maximum speed of 35 knots and an estimated endurance of five years The nuclear propulsion provide largest  aviation fuel capacity and the disparition of the funnel permit the installation, on the sides of the island structure, of  a fixed radar antennae of advanced design.  
She was built with a distinctive square island supporting phased-array radars and a complex EW system. In the first version the phased array radar system designed to provide improved tracking of multiple airborne targets relative to conventional rotating antenna radars give a  distinctive square looking  to the island until their replacement circa 1980
USS Enterprise was in he was the only ship of her class. Now Enterprise is currently the oldest carriers in the fleet, she is scheduled for decommissioning in 2014-2015. Her intended replacement is the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)
In 1960 this armement was of two twin Terrier missiles Launchers and after he receive three Phalanx  mounts and two NATo Sea sparrow  missile launchers. In the 2000s her armament was refitted again, gaining two RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile launchers while dispensing with the forward-most Phalanx mount.
 His homeport was Norfolk (Virginia )

1st act 1958 1980
In 1958 USS Enterprisel was laid at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company and on septembre 24th   1960 she was Launched with godmother Mrs WB Franke, wife of the former Secretary of the Navy and on November 25th 1961 she was commisioned with as first commander Captain Vincent P. DePoix. On   January 12th 1962 the ship then made its maiden voyage conducting a three-month shakedown cruise and the first air operations were conducted with Vougth F8 Crusader After in february 20th 1962 she was used in collabaration whit the NASA for Project Mercury
After commissioning, Enterprise began a series of tests and training exercises designed to determine the full capabilities of the CVN.
 In August, Enterprise joined the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. Soon after in October she  return to Norfolk to be  was dispatched for the  international crisis of Cuba.
During one such U2 flight over Cuba pictures obtained from the spy planes revealed what appeared to be missiles silos under construction The Cuba Island was at 140 kms from the coast of Florida also on October 22th 1962 JFK announced that U.S. reconnaissance flights had revealed the building of missiles silos in the Island .The President also ordered a naval and air quarantine of Cuba Island and and demanded to USSR the dismantling of the missile sites In the same time USA began to prepare for military action against Cuba, moving several Army units to Florida and supporting these units with a strong naval force.
The Second Fleet was mobilized, for this operation and the USS Entreprise  Essex and Randolph CV with this escort commenced the blockade on October 24th 1962
On October 25th 1962 the first Soviet ship was stopped
The crise ended on October 28th 1962 with the USSR decidesd to remove the missiles and dismantle the missile bases in Cuba in exchange for the US withdrawing missiles from Turkey.
So after during 5 years she his in Mediterranean with the Sixth Fleet During the latter deployment, on May 13th 1964 , she form with the USS LONG BEACH and USS BAINBRIDGE the Task Force One fot the operation Operation Sea Orbit, a 30,565-mile voyage around the world, accomplished without a single refueling or replenishmentn
In October, Enterprise returned to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company for its first refueling and overhaul.
In November 1965 she was to the Seventh Fleet in Pacific and began for her Asian deployments. She was the first nuclear ship to enter combat when her aircraft struck targets in Vietnam,.
On December 3rd 1965   She set a record with 165 strike sorties in a single day
On January 23rd 1968 durind the Capture of the USS Pueblo by the Koerans USS Enterprise was send in the East Chine Sea
On January 14th 1969 happen a dramatic event on the ship
A Rocket warhead attached to an F4 Phantom was overheated by exhaust from an aircraft starting unit and detonated, setting off fires and additional explosions across the carrier.
27 lives were lost, and an additional 314 people were injured and.15 aircraft will be destroyed

In March 1969 repairs ship were completed at Pearl Harbour
On April 1969 after a shot down by North Koeran of an EC 121 Contellation the USS Enterprise with the Ticonderoga Ranger and Hornet form the Task Force 71 to protect such flights.On 1969/1970  she return to Newport News Shipbuilding for an overhaul and her second refitting.On January 1971 to 1974 she return in the Fear East at Yankee station to provide air support for U.S. and South Vietnamese units.
On December 1971 she was sent to the Bay of Bengal to aid West Pakistan in war against India. A confrontatztion with Indian Navy was avoid . In fact Indian navy sent the IN Vikrant to counter the Enterprise task force ans soviet submarines  were also present.Confrontation was averted when the U.S. task force moved towards South East Asia, away from the Indian Ocean
But after the end of air sorties into North Vietnam above the 20th parallel and brought (operation Linebacker I) on Octoer 23rd 1972 negociations between belligirants started in Paris In front of the fealure of the negotiation Operation Linebacker II was launch on December 18th 1972 since December 29th 1972 when the North Vietnamese returned to the peace table.On january 23rd 1979 The cease fire in Vietnam was was announced. And he became effective on January 27th all combat sorties into North and South Vietnam.were cancelled but not under Laos an Cambodge . These combat support sorties were flown in support of the Laotian government which had requested this assistance. Laos had no relationship with the cease-fire in Vietnam.
She assisted the evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam conflict.
After the cease-fire in Vietnam, Enterprise return in the USA to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard,(Washington) to test the Navy's newest fighter aircraft F14 Tomcat
 Two of four jet blast deflectors (JBD) were enlarged to accommodate this new aircraft
These fighter flight from march 18th 1974  until their retirement from Enterprise in 2001
 On April 19th 1975   Enterprise with other CV were deployed to waters off Vietnam for possible evacuation contingencies after the invasion of South Vietnam by North Vietnam
On April 29th during operation Frequent Wind ordered by Gerald Ford she support the the evacuation of American citizens from the capital of South Vietnam under heavy attack from the invading forces of North Vietnam.. With fighter cover provided by carrier aircraft, the helicopters landed on Saigon rooftops and at Tan Son Nhat to evacuate the Americans. The airport became the main helicopter landing zone: it was defended by Marines from the 9th
On February 27th 1977 Crisis with  Uganda, and support to the Israelian Raid against Entebbe airport.
On January 1979 she return to Puget SounD Naval Shipyard for 30-month  of overhaul. During this overhaul, the ship's superstructure was modified, removing the SCANFAR  radars and the unique inverted cone-shaped top section. These were all removed during retrofit, and the island was completely altered to resemble the island of Kitty Hawk class carrier Amphibious Brigade

 Pre 1980  Post 1980

Betwem 10 years the USS was in Mediterranean of Persian theather Operation
Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 against against two Iranian oil platfroms that had been identified as support bases for Iranian attacks on merchant shipping. And in December 1989
we found the Entreprise near Philippines (operation Classic Resolve) to support  President Corazon Aquino figting against rebel coup attempt
In October 1990 Enterprise moved to Newport News Shipbuilding for refueling and the Navy's largest complex overhaul refit ever attempted. During this overhaul, the Navy extended Enterprise's length from 336 m to 342 m as well as other refits to extend her service life.
She don’t participe to the First Gulf War
In 1996 participation at operation Joint Endeavour upon Bosnie and operations against Irak
During the 1998-1999 deployment, Enterprise steamed more than 50,000 miles (80,000 km) and spent 151 days underway.
The aircraft of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) were launched nearly 9,000 times.
On September 11th 2001 after the terrorist attacks at New York and Washington Enterprise go to the Persian Gulf where on October 7th 2001 begin air attacks against al Qaeda terrorist training camps in Afghanistan The actions were designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a base for terrorist operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime. Over three weeks, aircraft from Enterprise flew nearly 700 missions and dropped hundreds of thousands of pounds of ordnance over Afghanistan.
On january 2002, Enterprise entered the Norfolk naval shypyard for a scheduled one-year Extended Docking Selected Restrited Availabilaty (EDSRA
In Spring 2004 she provided air support for OIF (Operationh Iraki Freedom ).
Between 2004 and 2006 she departed for a six-month deployment, however the ship was out for a total of six and a half months. During this deployment, the ship visited 8 ports (Croatia, Greece, Hong Kong, Pusan (South Korea), Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai (UAE), Portugal) supported both Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom at the same time. Returned to Norfolk November 18th 2006
In december 2007 she returne home after a 6 month deployment in the Persian Gulf
On April 12th 2008 Enterprise entered the  Northrop Grumman Newport Shipyard  for a scheduled 18 month (EDSRA).
She was scheduled to be decommissioned in 2014-2015 .Originally designed for 20 years, Enterprise, upon retirement, will have served over 52 years, longer than any other Navy steel-hulled warship.
In September 2003, Northrop Grumman was awarded a $108 million contract to begin design of the CVN-21(Gerald Ford class nuclear powered aircraft carrier. Construction should begin in 2007 and commissioning is expected to be in 2014. She will replace the Enterprise (CVN-65) which will at that time be fifty-three years old. The continued use of this ship and the other nuclear powered warships beyond original design life provides a distinct economic advantage while providing a force multiplier for the national defense
The Carrier Wings
After the ship we can see the aircrafts used by the CV but first an little history of the CW
Originally the air wing was called an air group and had a name of the carrier where he was assigned
For instance, for the air group on CV-6 USS Enterprise would have simply been called Entreprise Air Group but in 1942, air groups lost the carrier name and began to be numbered.
The number given to each air group came from the hull number of the carrier to which it was assigned. CAG-6 for the Enterprise Air Group on CV-6 USS Enterprise, CAG-3 for the    Air Group" on CV-3 USS Saratoga 
It is from this original term for the air wing that the term CAG comes from for the commanding officer (Commander Air Group) of an air wing of today.
until late 1948 this numbering scheme remained in use  when all CAGs (the air groups, not the commanding officers) were renamed as CVGs and as they started to move from carrier to carrier, they lost the relationship to the carrier hull number.
The late 40th  also saw  the end of the piston engined aircraftas the F4U Corsair and the arrival of the first jet aircraft like  FH-1 Phantom,
The first USNs jet fighter was VF-17A (redesignated VF-171 squadron in mid-1948
There are currently ten CVWs (five on the east coast and five on the west )
One of the west coast airwings is permanently forward deployed to Japan and one reserve CVW (CVWR-20 renamed Tactical Support Wing in April 2007).
A modern CVW, has 2,500 personnel and 60-65 aircrafts dispatched in  seven to nine front line squadrons (depending on their aircraft type )
An CW has also his tankers and his own assigned helicopter squadron  .
Composition of a CW
VFA N° 1       10x F/A-18E Super Hornet    Strike fighter, air wing tanker

VA 1 N°         12x F/A-18F Super Hornet     Strike fighter, air wing tanker


VFA N°2       1 0x F/A-18C Hornet                Strike fighter


VAQ N°1       4x EA-6B Prowler                     Tactical electronic warfare


VAW N° 1     4x E-2C Hawkeye                      Airborne early warning


HS     N°1      4x SH-60F Seahawk 2x HH-60H Seahawk     ASW / SAR / CSAR


VRC N°1       2x C-2A Greyhound    Logistics support Which may be supplanted with:


HSL Det N°1 2x SH-60B Seahawk                 ASW/ASuW


For example normaly the CVN65 has the CW1


But you can see below the other CW deploy during a mission on the deck of the CVN65

CVN65 April 25th 2 001 to November.10th 2001 (Med, Persian Gulf, Northern Arabian Sea)
 VF-41 Black Aces F-14A
 VF-14 TophattersF-14A
 VFA-15ValionsFA-18C(N) VFA or VMFA Strike Fighter Squadron Marine Strike Fighter Squadron
 VFA-87Golden WarriorsFA-18C(N)
 VAQ-141ShadowhawksEA-6B VAQ Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron
 VAW-124Bear AcesE-2C VAW Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron
 HS-3Tridents SH-60F/HH-60H HS Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron and HSL

Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light
 VS-24ScoutsS-3B VS Sea Control Squadron
 VRC-40 DET.5RawhidesC-2A VRC Det Fleet Logistics Support Squadron

CVN-65 Enterprise
CVW 3 (before 2001)

AC VFA-37 Bulls              12 xF-18C     Oceana
AC VFA-105 Gunslingers 12x F-18C     Oceana
AC VMFA-312 Checkerboards 12x F-18C   MCAS Beaufort
AC VF-32 Swordsmen       14xF-14B     Oceana
AC VAQ-130 Zappers        4xEA-6B     Whidbey Island
AC VS-22 Vidars                8xS-3B        Jacksonville
AC VAW-126 Seahawks    4x E-2C       Norfolk
AC HS-7 Shamrocks           6xSH-60F and 2x,HH-60H  Jacksonville
AC VRC-40 Codfish Airlines  2xC-2A  Norfolk AC

Aircraft on board

A 4Skyhawk

Douglas A-4 Skyhawk attack aircraft designed to operate from CV.The first prototype first flew on june 22th 1954 it wasin service with Navy and USMC squadrons in late 1956.

The Skyhawk remained in production until 1979, with a total of 2,960 aircraft built, including 555 two-seat trainers In service I,n both countries (Israel Argentina Koweit )
F4 Phantom II

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II was a twin-engine, all-weather, fighter-bomber. The aircraft could perform three tactical air roles
 air superiority, interdiction and close air support, the Phantom II originally was developed for U.S. Navy fleet defense flown ofr the first time in May 1958 and entered service in 1961
The Phantom II continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by F14 Tomcat and F/A 18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy and in the USMC
Now retired
F8 Crusader

The F-8 Crusader ( F8U) was a single-engine aircraft built by Chance Vougth
The first F-8 was ready for flight in February 1955,
The RF-8 Crusader was a Recce version who played a crucial role in the Cuban Crisis
They operate until 1987.
F14 Tomcat

Gruman, F 141 is a aircraft supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable geometrie wings. The aircraft could perform three tactical air roles   maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor and tactical reconnaissance
He serve from 1974 to 2006
F/A18 Hornet

The Mac Donnel Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a all-weather carrier-capable Strike Fighter, designed to attack both ground and aerial targets.
Choose in the 70th by US Navy and USMC for missions of fighter escort, fleet air defense, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD Interdiction, Close air support and reconnaissance. It is in service now remplacing the F 14 Tomcat
A3 Skywarrior

The A3 Douglas  Skywarrior was a strategic Bomber and a jet aircraft for CV . He was the heaviest aircraft ever flown from an CV he receive the unofficial nickname "The Whale".It was employ as electronic warfare platform and high capacity tanker
In service 1952 from 1991.
A 5 Vigilante

A 5 North American  Vigilante is a supersonic bomber based on CV
He replace the A3 Skywarrior for nuclear strike
But it is in version reconnaissance like RA 5C, who make is carrer between 1961 and 1979
A 6 Intruder

 Grumman Aerospace A-6 Intruder is an twin jet-engine air craft attack In service between 1963 and 1997
EA6 B Prowler

Still in service (august 2008 ) is a specialized electronic warfare version
He take the mission by the now retired F 14 equipped with Lantrin, which has subsequently passed on the role to the F.A18E/F super Hornet
S3 Viking

Lockheed S-3 Viking is a aircraft used by the US Navy to identify, track, and destroy enemy submarines. In the late 1990s, the S-3B's mission focus shifted to surface warfare and aerial refueling. After the retirement of the A6 Intruder an A7 Corsair II he was the only airborne refueling platform organic to the Carrier Air Wing(s) until the fielding of the F.A18E/F super Hornet
In service to day (august 2008 )

 C-2 Grumman Greyhound is a twin-engine cargo aircraft, derivate from the E2 C Hawkeye designed to provide critical logistics support to CV . Its primary mission is carrier onboard Delivrey (COD )
still in service (August 2008 )

 E-2C Northrop Grumman Hawkeye is the U.S. Navy's all-weather, carrier-based tactical airborne warning and control system platform. It provides all-weather airborne early warning and command and control functions for the carrier battle group. Additional missions include surface surveillance coordination, strike and interceptor control, search and rescue guidance and communications relay.
still in service (August 2008 )
SH 2 Sea king

SH-3 Sikorsky Sea King is an twin-engined anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter. It served with the US Navy
In service (August 2008 )
SH 2 Seasprite
SH-2 Kamam Seasprite is a ship-based helicopter for anti sub anti surface threat missions he was armed with anti ship missileThe Seasprite's primary missions include anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, anti-ship missile defense, and anti-ship surveillance and targeting. Secondary missions may include medical evacuation, search and rescue, personal and cargo transfer, as well as small boat interdiction, amphibious assault air support, gun fire spotting, mine detection and battle damage assessment.
In service from 1952 to 2001
SH 60/MH60 SeaHawk

The SH-60/MH-60 Sikorsky is a twin turbo sharshaft engine, multi-mission helicopter
The U.S. Navy uses the H-60 airframe under the model designations SH-60B, SH-60F, HH-60H, MH-60R, and MH-60S.
His mission anti submarine war undersea warfare (USW), anti surface warfare (ASUW), naval special warfare (NSW) (SAR), combat search and rescue (CSAR), vertical replenishment (VERTREP) and (MEDEVAC).
All Navy H-60s carry either the Lucas Western or Breeze Eastern rescue hoist for SAR/CSAR missions.
In service since 1979

Displacement  89600 tons 93500 full load
Length 342 m
Beam 40.5 m  
draft 11.90 m
Deck 20.000 m²
4 lifts
4 steam powered cacatapults C 13 mod 1 de 90 mètres
Ship company  4800 men ( Air win: 2480 )
8 nuclear réactors A 2 W Westinghouse 280000 HP  206000 kW
32 boilers Foster-Wheeler
 4 groups TE Westinghouse
 4  propellers
Speed 33 knots
Radars (2008)
ANSPS 48 3 D with and le SPS-67 Radar  
ANSPS 49 2D Air rechearch radar
TAS Mk 23 adar for designation of objectif le
Radar Landing
2 SPN-46  1x SPN-43 and 1x SPN-44
Radar conrol Fire
4 x Mk 95
Radars navigation
Furuno 900, SPS-64
ECW (2008)
Interceptor SLQ-20 B
Brouilleur-détecteur SLQ-32
Bruiteur remorqué Nixie
2 x NATO sea sparrow
2x20mm phalanx CIWS
2 RAM launchers Mk 31 (42 missiles)
4 mitrailleuses de 12.7 mm
1 Anti torpedo lure SLX-1
4 lure systems SRBOC Mk 36
Carrier Wings
6  F/A 18 Hornet
4    EA-6 B Prowler
4   E-2 C Hawkeye
8  ASM S-3 B Viking
2  C-2 A


Thanks to Stef 54 Forrest Gump PMA and Kobra  from les colleurs de plastique


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