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Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carriers

by Brad Elward Paul Wright

The Nimitz class aircraft carrier is the ultimate symbol of the United States superpower status. A true behemoth, this is an unsurpassed weapons platform that overshadows all of its nearest rivals. A history of the largest aircraft carriers in the world, with runways over 300 meters long, this book looks at the development and deployment of the nuclear-powered Nimitz class aircraft carriers from 1975 when the USS Nimitz, the lead ship of the class, was commissioned, to the present day.All of the class are still operational and the tenth and last of the class, the USS George H. W. Bush, was commissioned in 2009. Here, Brad Elward provides a detailed overview of their design and development, highlighting their unique features, from jet blast deflectors to cutting edge radar systems, and a history of the Nimitz class in service, from deployment in the Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, through to the enforcement of the no fly zone over Bosnia.From the Trade Paperback edition.

US Cold War Aircraft Carriers

by Brad Elward Paul Wright

Supercarriers became the ultimate in aircraft carrier design after World War II. Naval aviation allows fleets to project mobile power across vast distances, and these floating cities epitomize this mission design. The Forrestal class (Forrestal, CV-59; Saratoga, CV-60; Ranger, CV-61 and Independence, CV-62) was the first completed class of US Navy supercarriers, so-named for their 25 percent size increase over the World War II-era carriers such as the Midway class, and the strength of their air wings (80-100 aircraft, compared to 65-75 for the Midway, and fewer than 50 for the Essex class). Design-wise, the Forrestals were a huge improvement over their predecessors, being more stable and comfortable, while maintaining advancements such as the armored flight decks that had been introduced with the Midway. The Kitty Hawk class was an improvement on the Forrestal-class designs, and four were built in the 1960s - Kitty Hawk (CV-63), Constellation (CV-64), America (CV-66) and John F. Kennedy (CV-67). These were even longer than the Forrestals, and fitted with advanced defensive weapons systems and an improved elevator layout. John F. Kennedy, while originally intended as one of the Kitty Hawk class, received so many modifications during construction that she essentially formed her own class, and was originally planned to become the US Navy's first nuclear-powered carrier. This plan never came to fruition, however, and that honor was left to her successor, USS Enterprise (CVN-65). The only ship of her class, Enterprise holds several other distinctions - the longest naval vessel in the world, the second-oldest commissioned vessel in the US Navy (after the USS Constitution), and, when retired in 2013, will have served 51 years - far longer than any other US carrier. All nine of the carriers covered by this volume are icons, and hold a much-respected place in US naval history. They are also some of the more well-known vessels outside of the military, for their long service histories, as well as for some of the more unfortunate events that seem to follow them - from Kitty Hawk's infamous 1972 "grilled cheese" race riot, to the fires that ravaged Forrestal in 1967 and Enterprise in 1969. Though swiftly superseded, first by each other, then by the Nimitz class, these vessels were the US Navy's backbone during the Cold War.

US Navy F-4 Phantom II MiG Killers 1965-70

by Jim Laurier Brad Elward

For every American fighter pilot involved in the Vietnam War (1955-1975), the ultimate goal was to 'kill a MiG'. In eight years of conflict 43 Vietnamese Peoples Air Force aircraft were claimed by US Navy and US Marine Corps Phantom II crews, and one single ace crew produced. Navy Phantom IIs scored the first kills of the Vietnam War, in April 1965, as well as scoring the last in January 1973. This volume charts the successes of the navy fighter crews as they encountered 'MiGs, Missiles and AAA' over the jungles of North Vietnam.

US Navy F-4 Phantom II MiG Killers 1972-73

by Jim Laurier Brad Elward

The second of two books on the Navy's Phantom II MiG killers of the Vietnam War (1955-1975), this book covers the numerous actions fought out over North Vietnam during the Linebacker I and II operations of 1972-73. No fewer than 17 MiGs were downed during this period, five of them by the Navy's sole aces of the conflict, Lts Randy Cunningham and Willie Driscoll of VF-96. Drawing on primary sources such as surviving Phantom II aircrew and official navy documentation, the author has assembled the most precise appraisal of fighter operations involving US Navy Phantom II units and those elusive MiGs ever seen in print.

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