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NAME

USS. KITTY HAWK (CVA.63)

CLASS

AIRCRAFT CARRIER

ENT/SERVICE 

APRIL 29th 1961

BUILT

NEW YORK SHIPBUILDING / CAMDEN / NEW JERSEY / AMERICA

WEIGHT

61,000 TONS

LENGTH

1,062 FEET

WIDTH

130 FEET - FLIGHT DECK 252 FEET

SPEED

30 KNOTS - TURBINE ENGINES - FOUR PROPELLERS

AIRCRAFT

80, TOMCATS, HORNETS, PROWLERS, HAWKEYES, VIKINGS, EIGHT HELICOPTERS


Kitty Hawk class carriers were intended to become the first warships powered by a nuclear reactor. With the cost of nuclear power being considered too great at that time, the three ships in this class Kitty Hawk, Constellation and America were completed with conventional power. A fourth carrier of this size that entered service in 1968, John F Kennedy, is regarded as a modified Kitty Hawk class. These carriers were not as well known as others as they entered service after the first super carriers of a similar size, the Forrestal class that enterd service in the 1950s, and the large nuclear powered carriers, the Enterprise from 1961 and the Nimitz class that began entering service from 1975. Kitty Hawk’s first trials for the US Navy were carried out while traveling around South America to her homeport of San Diego. Between 1963 and 1972, she made eight extended deployments, six of them supporting US troops in Vietnam.

USS Kitty Hawk
Kitty Hawk at sea, Large Image.

Kitty Hawk was fitted with anti submarine detection equipment in 1973. This conversion led to her being classed as a multi purpose carrier. The navy had Kitty Hawk undergo an extensive refit between 1988 and 1990 in an attempt to add another 20 years to her intended 30-year service life. She was supporting US and Coalition troops at Somalia in November 1992 when Iraqi troops began breaking United Nations sanctions. This led to Kitty Hawk being rushed to the Middle East so her aircraft could lead an attack on Iraqi troops in Southern Iraq and patrol the no fly zone.

Kitty Hawk was taken out of service in 2009, she will be held in reserve until 2015. Constellation was decommissioned in 2003, this ship is awaiting a decision on its future whether it will be scrapped or used as museum.

USS Constellation


John F Kennedy was decommissioned in 2007, this ship is awaiting a decision on whether it will be scrapped or used as museum.

USS John F Kennedy
USS John F Kennedy, Large Image.

Excessive corrosion led to America being stricken from the navy register in 1998. This ship was used in missile and explosives tests in the Atlantic Ocean in 2005. The navy then scuttled the ship where she was damaged, about 250 miles off the North Carolina coast.

USS America
USS America, Large Top Image

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