Issue No. 1 /
Jan-Feb 1999

CVNX—Centerpiece of the New Carrier Fleet
by Bob Stephenson and Adrienne Rakotz

CVNX, the centerpiece of the next generation carrier Fleet, will be a large-deck, nuclear-powered ship. The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology signed the Acquisition Decision Memorandum on October 5, 1998.

This next generation aircraft carrier will be achieved at an affordable, evolutionary pace beginning with CVN 77. CVN 77 will have a newly designed and integrated combat system that eliminates rotating antennas. CVNX 1 will incorporate this new CVN 77 integrated combat system, and will add both a new nuclear propulsion plant and a new electrical power and distribution system. The new nuclear propulsion plant will provide immediate warfighting enhancements, immediate life cycle cost reductions, and will enable future warfighting enhancements and further life cycle cost reductions. Subsequent carriers will feature additional new technologies including an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS), an Electromagnetic Aircraft Recovery System (EARS), improved crew habitability, survivability improvements, performance improvements, and new functional arrangements and distributed systems.

CVN 77, which will replace USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) in 2008, is scheduled to begin construction in 2001. CVNX 1, which will replace USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in 2013, is scheduled to begin construction in 2006. In fiscal year 1998, CVN 77 initiated the design process necessary to accomplish the technological changes planned for CVNX. The ultimate result of these design efforts will be a carrier class that has not only substantially lower life cycle costs, but also a significantly improved warfighting capability to successfully accomplish a wide range of future missions in what is rapidly becoming an increasingly uncertain world.

Additional Information

For more information about CVNX, contact:

  • Bob Stephenson, NAVSEA PMS 378; commercial: 703-413-4941; fax: 703-418-1522; e-mail: [email protected] .

Bob Stephenson is the Assistant Program Manager for CVNX; Adrienne Rakotz is the CVNX Public Affairs Officer, Nichols Advanced Marine.