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CVNX never-were aricraft carrier concepts from 1976-77

1Big Rich

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I cannot find a post about these concepts, so if there is one, admins/moderators please delete this.

I originally posted this over on the BC Board, but it might interest the members here as well:




The only volume of Jane's Fighting Ships in my collection is Jane's 1976-77, and contained therein is an interesting piece preceding the section on US Navy carriers about design studies of smaller carriers to be built instead of larger Nimitz class carriers. The drawings below are my attempt to sketch the concepts as shown in the volume of Jane's, but I have left out the outline of hangar area. Please note also that the drawings are not to scale, simply an attempt to show the flight deck arrangement. See Jane's Fighting Ships 1976-77 p. 560 for the full details. The text and my sketches follow:

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The US Navy proposes the continued construction of large, “Nimitz” class ships to provide a force level of 12 or 13 first-line aircraft carriers into the 1990s. However, in 1975, then Secretary of Defense Dr James R. Schlesinger directed the Navy to examine the feasibility of constructing “medium”-size carriers of approximately 50,000 tons standard displacement as an alternative to “Nimitz” class ships. Nuclear propulsion was dictated as a result of previous Congressional legislation (Title VIII) which requires nuclear power for all new major combatants for strike forces.

Subsequently from Aug 1975 to Jan 1976 the Navy conducted an extensive study of nuclear-propelled carrier options (with the designation CVNX applied being applied to the various candidate designs). The principle CVNX designs are described in the adjacent table. Three “model” configurations were developed by the CVNX Study Group:



Model A: minimum size nuclear-propelled carrier capable of supporting modern naval aircraft across all the Navy’s mission areas; propelled by a four-reactor D2G power plant (using D2W nuclear fuel cores) which delivers about one half the propulsive power of a “Nimitz” class ship.



Model B: minimum size nuclear-propelled carrier capable of supporting about two-thirds of a “Nimitz” air wing with a four-reactor D2W (D2W) power plant which delivers slightly more propulsive power than the Model A plant.



Model D: minimum size nuclear-propelled carrier capable of supporting about two-thirds of a “Nimitz” air wing with a two-reactor A4W plant that delivers the full propulsive power of a “Nimitz” class carrier.



Drawings of the three flight deck arrangements are also provided. All three have conventional angled flight decks, and island structure on the starboard side, and two or more deck-edge elevators. Similarly, all three designs have armoured flight decks as well as extensive side protection (to defend against anti-ship cruise missiles) and internal subdivision and damage-limiting features to reduce the affects of mines and torpedoes. The A/B/D designs have less endurance on the basis of food stowage and slightly smaller crews. On the basis of the CVNX analysis, the Navy has requested funding of a fourth “Nimitz” class ship as the optimum means of maintaining 12 or 13 first-line carriers. On the basis of constructing three additional carriers, the cost of “Nimitz” size carriers is approximately the same as the cost of the smaller, less capable ships because of the considerable design engineering effort required for a new class. (If more than three additional smaller carriers were procured during the next decade the costs would be less for the A/B/D models).



Aircraft: All three models would be capable of operating all fixed-wing, front-line aircraft envisioned for carrier operation through the year 2000.



Dimensions: the A/B/D melds have been developed with length on waterline and beam on waterline characteristics. Length overall and maximum beam would vary on the basis of detailed design. By comparison, Nimitz is 1 040 feet long.



Fiscal: Based on fiscal y6ear 1976 dollars for research and development cost and Fiscal Year 1979 dollars for construction, (the year in which the ship would be started), he following are estimated costs of the alternative designs based on a three-ship programme: A model $2.1 billion, B model 2.25 billion, D model 2.2 billion and a modified “Nimitz” class ship $2.1 billion.



Missiles: These ships would be armed with the NATO Sea Sparrow Basic Point Defense Missile System (BPDMS).













Model AModel BModel D
Displacement, tons51 9000 light59 700 light68 200 light
55 900 standard65 300 standard73 700 standard
64 600 full load74 800 full load84 800 full load
Length, feet (meters)860 wl (262.1)940 wl (286.5)970 wl (295.7)
Beam, feet (meters)121 wl (36.9)130 wl (39.6)970 wl (295.7)
Aircraft48 to 5359 to 6559 to 65
Catapults2 C13-1 steam3 C13-1 steam3 C13-1 steam
Elevators233
Missile LaunchersNATO Sea SparrowNATO Sea SparrowNATO Sea Sparrow
Main Enginessteam turbinessteam turbinessteam turbines
Nuclear Reactors2 D2G (with D2W core)2 D2G (with D2W core)4 A4W
Complement2 004 ship2 209 ship2 200 ship
1 296 air wing1 580 air wing1 580 air wing

Jane's Fighting Ships 1976-77, p. 560-561, copyright 1976

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The Reactors line is obviously incorrect per the text and should read


Nuclear Reactors4 D2G (with D2W core)4 D2W2 A4W

Regards,
 

1Big Rich

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