USS George H.W.Bush (CVN 77) Aircraft Carrier to be Commissioned Before Sea Trials

by OldSailor on January 5, 2009


uss_george_bushUSS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the 10th and final nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the Nimitz class is scheduled to be commissioned on January 10 during a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. The aircraft carrier is named in honor of the 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush. It is further interesting to note that the commissioning is to take place without completing sea trials, before President George W. Bush (the eldest son of the former President George H.W.Bush) demits office on January 20.

The $6.3b ship built by Northrop Grumman was originally scheduled for completion in April 2008. The completion was delayed due to labor shortages, late material deliveries. After commissioning, USS George H.W. Bush will be initially home ported in Norfolk, Va., and assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet to prepare for builder’s and acceptance trials. George H.W. Bush incorporates major improvements from her predecessors, including a bulbous bow, redesigned island, composite mast and three-wire arresting gear configuration.

The first Commanding Officer of USS George H.W. Bush is Capt. Kevin O’Flaherty. The carrier will have a crew of more than 5,500 men and women, including embarked air wing personnel.

The ship will support the F/A-18C Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighters, the E-2C/D Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning aircraft, the C-2 Greyhound  logistics aircraft, the EA-6B Prowler and the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft, multi-role SH-60 and MH-60 helicopters, and other future carrier-based aircrafts.

Here are some interesting facts on USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), from Northrop Grumman.

George H.W. Bush ConstructionUSS_George_HW_Bush_cvn77

  • Contract awarded January 26, 2001
  • Seven-year construction timeframe
  • Keel Laid September 6, 2003
  • Christened October 7, 2006
  • Delivery scheduled for late 2008
  • 47,000 tons of structural steel and about a million pounds of aluminum
  • Modular construction process forms large individual units of the ship much like interlocking building blocks
  • Units welded together to form a module or superlift weighing up to 900 tons


  • Top speed exceeds 30 knots
  • Powered by two nuclear reactors that can operate for more than 20 years without refueling uss_ronald_reagan_cvn76
  • Expected to operate as Navy warship for about 50 years
  • Typical Nimitz-class ship carries 80-plus combat aircraft
  • Three two-inch diameter arresting wires on the deck bring an airplane going 150 miles per hour to a stop in less than 400 feet


  • Towers 20 stories above the waterline with a 4.5-acre flight deck
  • 1,092 feet long: nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall
  • Four bronze propellers, each 21 feet across and weighing more than 30 tons
  • Steering accomplished by two rudders, each 29 feet by 22 feet and weighing 50 tons uss_harry_s_truman_cvn75
  • Four high speed aircraft elevators, each more than 4,000 square feet, bring planes to the flight deck from the hangar below


  • Home to about 6,000 Navy personnel
  • Enough food and supplies to operate for 90 days: 18,150 meals served daily
  • Distillation plants providing 400,000 gallons of fresh water from sea water daily, enough for 2,000 homes
  • Nearly 30,000 light fixtures and 1,600 miles of cable and wiring
  • 1,400 telephones, 14,000 pillowcases and 28,000 sheets

The other nine Nimitz class aircraft carriers are:uss_john_c_stennis_cvn74

  • USS Nimitz (CVN 68) commissioned on May 03,1975.
  • USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) commissioned on October 18,1977.
  • USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) commissioned on March 13,1982.
  • USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) commissioned on October 25,1986.
  • USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) commissioned on November 11,1989.
  • USS George Washington (CVN 73) commissioned on July 04,1992.
  • USS John C.Stennis (CVN 74) commissioned on December 09,1995.
  • USS Harry S.Truman (CVN 75) commissioned on July 25,1998.
  • USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) commissioned on July 12,2003.


uss_carl_vinson_cvn70USS_ Dwight_D_Eisenhower_cvn69 uss_nimitz_cvn68

Here is the Fact Sheet on USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) as pdf document.

More about USS George H.W. Bush CVN 77 are at Northrop Grumman, Pre-Commissioning Unit George H.W. Bush(CVN 77).

Here is an interesting video clip on ‘Building the USS George H.W. Bush CVN 77′

Read more about commissioning from U.S.Navy.

Post in MarineBuzz on this day a year before:

An Overview of Sea Planes

Update: January 09

The commissioning ceremony in honor of the newest Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), will be streamed live on at 11:00 a.m. EST Saturday, Jan. 10 from Norfolk. Read more from U.S.Navy.

Update: January 12

As a 21-cannon salute boomed and U.S. Navy fighter jets thundered overhead, President George W. Bush declared a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier named for his father, former President George H. W. Bush, will sail the globe as a potent symbol of men and women in uniform, past and present. Read more from U.S.Navy.

Dozens of the former President George H.W.Bush’s shipmates aboard USS San Jacinto (CVL 30) attended the commissioning of USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on January 10 which coincided with a reunion among the former Sailors. Read more from U.S.Navy.

Here is the White House press release on commissioning.

Here is the commissioning video clip of USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).

Update: February 17

Northrop Grumman Corporation, the ship builders have completed builder’s sea trials of the most advanced nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77).  Read Northrop Grumman Corporation news release.

Update: April 10

USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) has successfully completed acceptance sea trials April 7-9 and is in final preparation for delivery. Now the aircraft carrier is ready to begin fleet service. Read more from U.S.Navy.

Update: May 12

U.S.Navy has taken delivery of its newest aircraft carrier, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding on May 11. Read more from U.S.Navy.

Update: May 20

On May 19, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) has successfully catapulted her first fixed-wing aircraft, F/A-18F Super Hornet and also first arrested landing. Read more from U.S Navy: Report 1, Report 2.

Update: May 27

Former President George H.W. Bush visited USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on May 26-27 to observe flight operations during the ship’s underway period in the Atlantic Ocean. Read more from U.S.Navy.

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