|Name:||Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carrier|
|Builders:||New York Shipbuilding|
|Operators:||United States Navy|
|Preceded by:||Forrestal class aircraft carrier|
|Succeeded by:||Custer class aircraft carrier|
|In commission:||21 April 1961 – Present|
|Displacement:||60,933 tons light
81,780 tons full load
|Length:||1,069 ft (326 m) overall
990 ft (300 m) waterline
|Beam:||130 ft (40 m) waterline
282 ft (86 m) extreme
|Draft:||38 ft (12 m)|
|Propulsion:||Westinghouse geared steam turbines, eight steam boilers, four shafts; 280,000 shp|
|Aircraft carried:||Up to 90 aircraft|
The Kitty Hawk-class supercarriers of the United States Navy is an incremental improvement on the Forrestal class aircraft carrier vessels. Four were built, all in the 1960s, USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) (1961–Present), USS Constellation (CV-64) (1961–Present), USS America (CV-66) (1965–Present) and USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) (1967–Present).
Improved Forrestal aircraft carriersEdit
The biggest differences from the Forrestals are greater length, and a different placement of elevators; two are forward of the island, one is aft of the island and another on the portside stern. The movement of the #4 elevator from the forward to the after end of the angle made it useful for aircraft movement, since the forward-end elevator was useless as it was in both the landing path and in the launch path of the #3 and #4 catapults.
Three different shipyards were used to construct the ships. Kitty Hawk was built at New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Constellation at New York Naval Shipyard, America and John F. Kennedy at Newport News Shipbuilding. Propulsion consisted of four Westinghouse geared turbines, 280,000 shp, four shafts with eight 1,200 psi Foster Wheeler boilers.
Construction and design differencesEdit
The first three units were constructed with a Terrier surface to air missile system. The supporting missile launchers and AN/SPG-55 radars consumed a large amount of space, while at the same time duplicating the capabilities of the air defence escorts, and were later removed. John F. Kennedy did not have Terrier and was built with the shorter ranged Sea Sparrow, Basic Point Defense Missile System (BPDMS). All were eventually equipped with NATO Sea Sparrow (NSSM) and Phalanx CIWS for self defense. In 2001, Kitty Hawk received two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers replacing the forward Sea Sparrow and Phalanx CIWS equipment. The SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare Suite was added as part of the Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) on Kitty Hawk and Constellation.
America had several differences from the lead units of the class. Instead of two forward anchors, one on each side, America had no starboard anchor and an additional anchor astern, a change made to accommodate the AN/SQS-23 sonar. America was the only post-World War II U.S. carrier to be built with sonar, though it was removed in the early 1980s. She also had a narrow smokestack compared to prior units.
Ships in classEdit
|USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)||New York Shipbuilding Corporation||29 April 1961||31 Jan 2009||In service|
|USS Constellation (CV-64)||New York Naval Shipyard||27 October 1961||7 August 2003||In service|
|USS America (CV-66)||Newport News Shipbuilding||23 January 1965||9 August 1996||In service|
|USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67)||Newport News Shipbuilding||7 September 1968||1 August 2007||In service|