back to article USS Enterprise sets out on its final mission

The US Navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, has set sail on her last mission before being consigned to the scrap heap. After 51 years as a serving warship, including multiple circumnavigations of the globe, the Enterprise's final trip will be a short one from its home port of Naval Station Norfolk …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " the US Navy will be left with only 10 aircraft carriers to protect itself..."

    Only if you don't count the 9 others.

    1. another_vulture

      Even worse...

      The US has 10 big-deck carriers plus 9 "little" carriers. The entire rest of the world has a total of zero big-deck carriers and nine "little" carriers. See:

      The big carriers can support various high-performance aircraft. the little guys handle STOL or VTOL aircraft, which have all sorts of design compromises.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Steven Segal

      Should shoot his next movie here.

      It would be epic.

  2. AfternoonTea
    Thumb Down

    The world becomes a safer place every time we remove one these behemoths.

    Unfortunately, they get replaced with two...

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Those behemoths are keeping the sea lanes safe from piracy. Perhaps you don't realise that international trade used to be fraught with danger until Great Britain began regular sea patrols around the world. The world economy went through a huge boom once that projection of force cut down piracy and made the seas safe for international trade. The US navy took over that role after world war 2 and it's only within the last decade, with politically correct rules of engagement that prevent decisively dealing with pirates, that piracy has started to become a problem again.

      1. AfternoonTea

        A world without guns is a safer than than a world populated with guns. My 2 cents.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          Re: AfternoonTea

          "A world without guns is a safer than than a world populated with guns....." Well, that's fine then, seeing a the jets on these carriers do the majority fo their damage with missiles, rockets, bombs, depthcharges and the odd torpedo.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. AfternoonTea

            Re: AfternoonTea

            Um, OK. No gun's in the the first place? You fail to understand my friend.

        2. Aaron Em

          "A world without guns..."

          Well, yes, and a world where chocolate ice cream falls from the sky promptly at 3pm every day is better than a world where it doesn't, and a water-fueled internal combustion engine would save me a lot of money getting to work every day. Does it matter?

          1. Old Handle
            Thumb Down

            @Aaron Em

            I disagree. That sounds really messy.

        3. Joe User

          A world without guns is a safer than than a world populated with guns.

          Sure, just as soon as you do away with all the criminals and tyrants.

        4. Epobirs

          Are there unicorns in your fantasy world?

          A world without guns just means that those with muscle get to bully those without. Especially women.

          The saying goes: God made men but Colonel Colt made them equal.

        5. Jim Carter

          Hate to say this but...

          Peace has always lived in the shadow of the sword.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Paul McClure


        I thought these large ships were to project power against other large and advanced forces. Pirates are a Coast guard problem since slow moving essentially unarmed ships should pose no problem for destroyers plus helicopters. Anything as large as a missile cruiser is wasted money.

        I recall the UK went bankrupt by holding on to it's empire. The US seems to be following in spending more than half it's budget in military related expenses. It's a good thing that China has been so willing to buy our country on the cheap to finance our foolishness.

        1. Vector

          Re: Curious

          I believe the piracy threat referred to is that of international piracy. The US Coast Guard's mission concerns only US coastal waters not such places as the Strait of Malacca where Somalian piracy has been rampant.

          Still, it's sad to see such a piece of history fall to the scrapheap rather than being preserved as one of the early milestones (for good or ill) of the nuclear age.

          1. Cihatari

            Re: Curious

            "Still, it's sad to see such a piece of history fall to the scrapheap rather than being preserved as one of the early milestones (for good or ill) of the nuclear age."

            It appears that some of these old preserved warships can work out horrendously expensive for the people concerned. I believe there are issues with some of the WWII museum ships which are literally rotting away at their berths. It's not as if there is a lot of spare cash around these days for the standard of upkeep needed.

            Perhaps scrapping the Enterprise might be kinder than letting it go downhill over a number of years?

            1. Michael Jennings

              Re: Curious

              And the old museum ships don't contain nuclear reactors. The Enterprise has to be cut to pieces in order that the reactors can be decommissioned. That really can't be avoided.

        2. Aldous

          Re: Curious

          the uk went bankrupt fighting WW2 which if you count stoping nazi and japanase expansion as protecting the empire then your point stands. After the war the various states were given full independance ( a number might have happened sooner were it not for the war)

          1. Another Guy

            Re: Curious

            A completely bizarre rewrite of history. The UK and France tried hard to keep their postwar possessions and were only forced out by the natives and US pressure. You are welcome.

        3. 0_Flybert_0

          Re: Curious

          *The US seems to be following in spending more than half it's budget in military related expenses*

          actually .. about 24% ... depending on what you consider *related* that is still something more than $700 billion and perhaps as much as $900 billion

          in my mind WAY more than needed for defense .. though if Iran blocks the Straight of Hormus .. it's going to be the rest of the western world that will be happy that the US naval task forces are there to open them back up

        4. Bryan Hall

          Re: Curious

          "The US seems to be following in spending more than half it's budget in military related expenses."

          No - that would be for "entitlements" Medicare, Medicaid, and SS. DOD makes up less than 20% of the budget - and that was while we were still in IRAQ.

          1. James Micallef Silver badge

            @Bryan Hall

            "DOD makes up less than 20% of the budget - and that was while we were still in IRAQ."

            You make it sound as if it's quite reasonable to spend 10-15% of a nation's budget on the military. the US could very comfartably cut it's military budget in half and still have more ships, planes and firepower than the rest of the world combined

        5. BoldMan

          Re: Curious

          @ Paul McClure: "I recall the UK went bankrupt by holding on to it's empire"

          No we almost went bankrupt paying back the USA for assisting us in that little conflict called World War 2 - we only finally finished paying the bill in 2001. UK had war rationing until the mid 50s because the US Marshall Plan was only designed to help with reconstruction in the parts of Europe that LOST the war, not the parts that won it. There are still gaps in the buildings in Central London that were bombed by the Luftwaffe 70 years ago! (okay they are now used as car parks but the gaps are there because of German bombs)

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Graham Dawson & Paul McClure

        "Those behemoths are keeping the sea lanes safe from piracy."

        Regular navy patrols can reduce piracy, but until the pirates start arming themselves with seriously big guns a nuclear powered aircraft carrier is complete overkill. They are useful for other things though, such as bombing middle eastern countries back into the stone age.

        "I recall the UK went bankrupt by holding on to it's empire. The US seems to be following in spending more than half it's budget in military related expenses. It's a good thing that China has been so willing to buy our country on the cheap to finance our foolishness."

        The UK went bankrupt fighting Germany whilst the US profited by selling the British old armaments at high prices. There's a reason the US came out of WWII far richer than when it went in. The empire crumbled for many reasons but it didn't help that Roosevelt was actively working against it. The end of colonialism is the reason the US can sell its goods all over the world today.

        1. Another Guy

          Re: Graham Dawson & Paul McClure

          "The UK went bankrupt fighting Germany whilst the US profited by selling the British old armaments at high prices. There's a reason the US came out of WWII far richer than when it went in."

          Waaaaaaaah.... waaaaaah. Do I hear a child crying?

          The UK went bankrupt trying to keep a colonial hold over most of the world.

          The US came out of WWII with far higher output but much poorer than it went in. In particular, 400,000 Americans died because European countries like the UK first got into colonial rivalries, then slaughtered each other silly over them, completely made a hash out of the peace, went into a second bloody war and had to be rescued again by the US -- at great human cost -- for the second time in 30 years.

          Then the US decided that the Europeans needed to be watched more closely -- we stayed to protect you from the commies -- and we've had 67 years of peace there.

          Don't worry: Ingratitude and a desire to blame others for your own shortcomings are common character flaws.

          You are welcome.

          1. Not That Andrew

            Re: 67 years of peace my foot

            67 years of peace - unless you lived in Africa, Central America, South America, the Middle East or Asia, where you were likely to run foul of one the US and USSR's proxy wars.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Graham Dawson & Paul McClure

          Roosevelt, unlike his WW1 predecessors, wasn't selling to both parties. Churchill was more than willing to hold off any involvement in Europe because the Soviets and Germans were killing each other off. While I don't blame him, in some respect, he was not helping to end the war. Roosevelt had to push Churchill to action in Europe, the U.S. being responsible for the taking western Europe back, not the English. You should also appreciate the fact that Roosevelt and Stalin had agreed on how Europe would be split, since the U.S. was in no position ot stop the Soviets if they decided to keep rolling west of Berlin. Getting our old equipment under lend/lease was about the best Roosevelt could do with a country that didn't really see the Nazi's as bad enough to go to war, a moral failing on the part of the U.S. Lend/lease also allowed the U.S. to pick a side in the war without 'technically' picking a side. Unfortunately, my country currently resorts to military actions due to poor long term political planning, so I don't this this aspect improving any time soon.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Graham Dawson & Paul McClure

            "Churchill was more than willing to hold off any involvement in Europe because the Soviets and Germans were killing each other off. While I don't blame him, in some respect, he was not helping to end the war."

            Whilst this is partly true it omits some important points. Namely that Churchill did eventually want to take back western Europe but was unwilling to send in Imperial forces alone with limited help from the Free French because these forces were already spread thin fighting in north Africa and the far east.

            "the U.S. being responsible for the taking western Europe back, not the English."

            That'd be why D-Day was planned Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan (a Brit), the ground forces were under the command of General Bernard Montgomery (a Brit), the air forces under the command of Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory (a Brit), the naval forces were under the command of Admiral Sir Bertram Home Ramsay (a Brit) and of the 160,000 troops that landed that day 83,115 were from the Empire (61,715 British and 21,400 Canadian)?

            " You should also appreciate the fact that Roosevelt and Stalin had agreed on how Europe would be split,"

            We should appreciate nothing since it was a massive power-play by both leaders to take control of Europe whilst the colonial powers were weakened. It had nothing to do with the best interests of the people of Europe.

            "Lend/lease also allowed the U.S. to pick a side in the war without 'technically' picking a side."

            Lend/Lease was about nothing more than draining British coffers whilst giving the appearance of helping. Roosevelt was staunchly anti-imperial, he had even drafted plans in the 1920's for war with British and an invasion of Canada. I've no problem with his view, Imperialism is not a good thing but it annoys me when people try to airbrush this stuff from history.

            Read a book, stop getting your knowledge of history from Hollywood.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              Re: Re: Graham Dawson & Paul McClure

              The difference in Chruchill's and Roosevelt's approach to "liberating" Europe was stark. The Brits wanted to use the hard-won foothold of Africa to invade the "soft underbelly" of Europe in 1943, in particular through Greece and Romania, and use this as a means to drive up into Poland and Germany. Churchill wanted to do this to stop the Russians getting too deep into Europe and to stop them getting access to ports in the Med. The Yanks insisted on the the cross-Channel invasion of France as "the shortest route to Berlin", despite this also being the route with the strongest Nazi defences and units. The success of the half-arsed invasions of Sicily, Italy and Southern France only showed up the eventual Normandy landings and campaign through France as the expensive tactic of hitting Hitler where he was strongest, and let the Russians get their hands on Eastern Europe by default. As a direct result of Roosevelt's anti-Imperialism, Poland was sacrificed to the Soviets, which was ironic considering it was the country Britain and France had gone to war to liberate in 1939. You can still meet Poles today that will tell you they consider Roosevelt the biggest traitor in their history since the Polish Nobles in 1792.

      5. Anonymous Coward

        with politically correct rules of engagement

        Those pesky law things again. They ruin everyone's fun.

        If you're going to sail about the oceans proclaiming that you're enforcing the law then you better f**king well abide by the law yourself. That's how laws work, innit?

        1. HandleOfGod

          "Those pesky law things again. They ruin everyone's fun."

          The trouble with western do-gooders is that one fundamental thing they fail to understand is that what they seen as being fair and even handed is interpreted as being weak. Somali pirates being caught and given a stern talking to don't go away hanging their heads in shame determined to behave better, they go away thinking the west is soft and weak and they can behave as they wish without any real consequence. You can extend this analogy to any number of other situations too.

          Here in Britain we have the same problem in our classrooms on our streets. Our teachers have virtually no power to punish and consequently almost all our schools have major behavioural problems and on our streets the police are given virtually no respect and are made to do their jobs hamstrung by rules and regulations which make them almost powerless. I remember reading an interest blog during the London riots written by a Philipino guy living in the Philipines (but who had lived in London) saying he was astonished at how powerless and ineffective the UK police were after he'd been mugged. They were completely terrified of being accused of any number of things and were accordingly unwilling to investigate the crime despite the perpetraters (of Pakistani origin, according to the blogger) still being in the vacinity.

          Rather than try to understand the naughty pirates and let them off with a warning, I wonder if a more effective deterent might be that the next time they are seen harrassing a merchant ship with AK47's and RPG's that the warship on the scene blows them out of the water. It would only take 2 or 3 such responses and the pirates would get the message.

      6. Heathroi

        traditionally pirates were merchants with close connections to a monarch who would give said man of influence a licence to plunder ships under the flags of some other monarchy, Depending on the annoyance to monarch, they would build ships devoted solely to fighting and these ships would go off fighting all over the place. People of lesser influence (or none at all) just lit a big fire and let the ship crash on to very jagged rocks.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          @Heathroi - No, that's Privateers

          Privateers were the ones given a licence to plunder certain ships, eg those flying the flag of another country. In most cases they were given a ship and a crew to go and do this with.

          Essentially they were a deniable part of the military, rather like modern espionage.

          Pirates did not, and still do not operate under a licence from anyone, they just board a ship and steal and/or ransom the cargo, crew and passengers.

          Back then they'd probably ransom the officers and passengers, using the ship and the money to fund their lifestyle. The crew were probably killed or forced to join the pirate crew.

          These days the full ship and crew are ransomed.

          This is why the British have a standing policy of never, ever paying a ransom. All it does is fund the next act of piracy. We send in the SAS or SBS instead.

          In theory, once they know that boarding a British-flagged vessel will cost them dearly and won't get them any money, they won't bother with ours and will go for other flags.

          Finally, some privateers did break the terms of their licence, becoming pirates. Those were the ones who were really hunted down, "por encouragement los autres".

          1. Helloworld

            Re: @Heathroi - No, that's Privateers

            Speaking of "pour encouragement les autres", the Enterprise's home port in Norfolk is just a couple miles across the water from a place still known today as "Blackbeard's Point", where said pirate's head was placed on a pike after the governor of Virginia sent the Royal Marines after him.

        2. Don Jefe


          What you are describing is a privateer, not a pirate. Similar jobs but the pirate has no official backing.

      7. Red Bren

        @Graham Dawson

        "The world economy went through a huge boom once that projection of force cut down piracy..."

        But cutting down piracy triggered global warming!!!

      8. another_vulture

        Wrong tool

        In the days of sail, the RN did not use ships of the line against pirates. The RN used Frigates and smaller ships for that. Similarly, a big-deck carrier is completely inapproprate against modern pirates. Enterprise has a crew of 4600, and its task force has about that again, for a total of 9200. That's enough to crew 92 LCSs, and an LCS is just about ideal against pirates, since it can support fast patrol craft and helicopters. The problem is that neither the USN nor the RN really want to do anti-piracy becase it just isn't sexy and it does not provide seagoing commands for admirals. for LCS, see:

  3. Johan Bastiaansen

    International trade eh?

    International trade eh? Does that include the cruises made by dark skinned people?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: International trade eh?

      Initially yes, but it seems rather unfair to ignore the fact that although the British participated in the slave trade they A) didn't start it and B) ended it (much to the chagrin of the good ol' USA).

      1. Johan Bastiaansen

        Re: International trade eh?

        Well, I don't think any of the other international trade would be considered a fair deal between equal parties by todays standards.

  4. disgruntled yank


    There was of course a predecessor USS Enterprise in WW II, which took part in the Battle of Midway and various other actions. As the name of a US warship it goes back at least to the War of 1812.

  5. Charles 9

    Speaking of the Roddenberry comment, it should be noted that the retiring ship happens to be the (at least) the SECOND U.S. Navy ship named Enterprise (its earlier namesake was CV(N)-5, a WW2-era carrier that saw service for most of the war until it was crippled during the Okinawa campaign).

    1. SkippyBing

      CV-5 was the Yorktown, the previous Enterprise was CV-6, although they were sister ships. Yorktown was sunk at Midway however Enterprise survived the war with more battle honours than any other US carrier not being scrapped until 1958 by which time the decision had been made to name the current ship Enterprise.

      In my defence I only learnt this when I got asked to make a 3D model of her...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The WWII Enterprise was "The Enterprise"

        CV-6 Enterprise became a very famous ship during and after WWII, because after Lexington was lost at Coral Sea, Yorktown at Midway and Hornet at Santa Cruz Islands battles (while the Saratoga was at repairs, but she was already getting obsolete), Enterprise remained the only "battle carrier" available until the Essex class ships entered services, but it took months. The press took inspiration from it, and it looked the whole USA future were depending on the Enterprise itself.

        It was the only pre-war carrier to survive the war, and the most decorated one. IIRC Roddenberry was a pilot in the Pacific theatre during WWII, I believe he couldn't avoid to be "infected" by the Enterprise story. And the fact that the new nuclear carrier would have been named Enterprise, just draw a line towards future that matched the glory of the old carrier with the future technology of the new one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The WWII Enterprise was "The Enterprise"

          I have to correct myself - the Saratoga too survived WWII, but was sunk in the atomic experiments around Bikini in 1946.

    2. Shannon Jacobs

      It's worse than that! Where have all the Trekkies gone?

      Lots more than 2 ships named Enterprise, but Roddenberry served on the WW II aircraft carrier and did name the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 for that ship. My memory is probably getting fuzzy, because I think I even knew his assignment when he was there. Possibly damage control?

  6. asdf

    carriers lol

    Floating cities full of young men ready to kill on moments notice that we send all over the world when we need to put our d_ck on somebody's chin. Very necessary I guess but wish I wasn't borrowing from my grandkids so we can have so many.

    1. Goat Jam

      Re: carriers lol

      Too true, US politicians and huge numbers of US citizens seem to have no understanding of the depth of their current economic debt crisis. Your downvoter there would belong to that group I'm sure.

      The irony is that the entire Chinese military budget is funded by the interest payments that Uncle Sam makes on the massive numbers of US government bonds the Chinese own.

      From "After America - Mark Steyne"

      "According to the Congressional Budget Office’s 2010 long-term budget outlook, by 2020 the government will be paying between 15 and 20 percent of its revenues in debt interest. Whereas defense spending will be down to between 14 and 16 percent."

      That is to say that their interests payments (not actually paying down the debt, just paying the interest) will take a greater slice of their GDP than what they spend on their military and a large proportion of those payments will go straight to China.

      Golly, I can't see anything wrong with that, can you?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They should consider using some of the steel from the USS Enterprise like they did with the World Trade Center steel on future US Navy ships.

  8. El Zorro

    Why have 1 nuclear reactor when you can have 8.

    I wouldn't be surprised if one powered the captain's trouser press ( or is that pants press? )

    1. SkippyBing

      Why have 1 nuclear reactor when you can have 8.

      Mainly because they weren't very good, the Nimitz class get by on four as they'd managed to figure it out a bit better by the time they were built.

      It's as if they were using sixty year old technology...

      1. Johan Bastiaansen

        Re: Why have 1 nuclear reactor when you can have 8.

        Or perhaps they didn't want a entire task force to sit on its hands when they had to reload one reactor or something.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A battle ship needs to be able to sustain damages...

      In any battle ship design must take into account tha ship may find herself into a battle with some nasty people trying to damage it... thereby many systems are reduntant to ensure some capabilities even when some of the are not working (it happens on planes too - why have more than one control lines when you can have only one? to ensure you land safely even when some are damaged?). Enterprise has8 reactors because it was largely an "experimental"ship (until the Nimitz the Navy returned to convention propulsion) - no one built a nuclear carrier before and what would have been the right balance between the number of reactors and their power had still to be found. Anyway reactors power the ship's propellers, the steam plane launchers and everything else depending on electric power...

  9. Johan Bastiaansen

    Tearing out the reactor...

    So she can't dump the core then?

  10. dssf


    I had a kit model of thr Big E back in the early 80's, and from libraries I checked out numerous books about her from the late 70's. I recall her being 1,123 feet long even before the Nimitz class. It may have been due to the catapult terminations up forward, but she was at that length well prior to the 90's.

    As sir size, the Nimitz and Nimitz and a halft class WERE larger in terms of displacement. The occupied more water than did the Big E, and I recall that because as a youth I wanted no other carrier to be heavier or longer than the Enterprise.


  11. dssf

    Another reason for scrapping the Big E

    is as important as her reactors and radiation concerns: if the carrier were preserved as a floating museum and commercial "floatel", then, assuming neither Russia nor China have detailed plans of her of the CVNs post WW II, then, it would pose grave harm to the USN if China were to technologically be able to start building toughened, long-lasting CVs or CVNs. That know-how could be obtained by paying off docents to disable alarms and sensors allowing spies and snoops and hull hunters and scavengers (Chinese or non-Chinese) unprivileged access to the structure. Visusl and electronic and acoustical tools would divulge too much info. So, if not for the reactors, then the USN know-how is going to be kept under wraps as cheaply as possible.

    Wel, that is my understanding and input on things, and, I too wanted the Big E preserved after de-coring. But, even if the cores could be Trek-style cut out, structural reinforcement efforts to prevent her from collapsing in on herself would be astronomical. And, even if hacked into 22 long parts, and if even just 4 of them were "museumized", there might still be too much architectural disclosure risk. So, for now, if China cannot expand on Soviet-era designs in its only carrier, then China will have to resort to launching planes from container ship styled vessels. That could be cheaper in the long run, anyway, since they would trade in military robustness and all the mind-boggling enginneering involved for something China was paid to get good at: building supertsnkers and Supermax/Post-Panamax ships. Still, Korea builds probably the best construction at cut throat prices WITH quality. And, since most ship owners drive them into the ground and do not preserve them anything like the USN did when money was more plentiful, it does not really kick in that Chenese-build merchant ships are the low-end cost matrix mix ships. Anyhoo...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another reason for scrapping the Big E

      Nice scare tactic, but the fact is floating museums get gutted prior to commissioning. The innards are replaced with replicas, and they never reveal the entire works of the ship: certainly not the power plants. Plus this Enterprise is decades old: hardly state of the art. I know about museum ships because I live in Virginia and we have a museum ship ourselves: the USS Wisconsin (an Iowa-class battleship: itself historically significant).

      1. fnj

        Re: Another reason for scrapping the Big E

        "the fact is floating museums get gutted prior to commissioning. The innards are replaced with replicas, and they never reveal the entire works of the ship: certainly not the power plants"

        Bull. The 16" guns, armor plate, and power plant are still in the U.S.S. Massachusetts and you can walk up and touch them. Not suggesting there is anything of strategic import in that ship, but your statement is incorrect.

        1. Charles 9

          Re: Another reason for scrapping the Big E

          The EXTERIORs are still there, yes, but "gutting" means the INTERNALS are removed. Wanna bet the elevators and magazine chambers (all situated UNDER the big guns) have been stripped down? As for the power plants, odds are passing fair that any regulating mechanisms and anything that would actually cause the boilers to, well, boil, are gone also.

  12. dssf

    wow, some downmodders are bloody clueless

    i do not beleive anything i said in that post was refutable, and if you can, prove it, not with a down vote, but with some reasoning. Downmoderation should be accompanied by mandatory justification and reputation checks.

    1. SkippyBing

      Re: wow, some downmodders are bloody clueless

      I think you'll find you're being down voted because you're clueless in thinking there's anything the Russians or Chinese don't know about the Enterprise, a fifty year old ship. There's no secret to building a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, it's like a normal one you just replace the boilers with a reactor.

      You also don't appear to get how the voting system works...

      1. dssf

        Re: wow, some downmodders are bloody clueless

        No, i am not clueless and thinking that the Russians or Chinese do not already have copies of portions of or of all of the plans. I said that that was my understanding of things. Considering the likes of Aldrich Ames, thenWalker Family, and half a dozen others who divulged national secrets, i would not be surprised to hear they obtained some info.

        Still, it is not easy to build a CVN, and very few countries have lost as many as the USA and still came out of WWII to continue building increasingly better ones. Japan, Australia, and the UK, as well as Germany, and a few others did have CVs, though, but largely due to fiscan and national policiesmeither quit buuilding them, had no need for the, or diversified their offensive and defensive capabilities bynother means.

        But, the things are horridly expensive, and nowadays, some estimates point to roughly USD$4 - 8 BILLION without the airwing or crew and salaries. Even an LHA or LHD type ship surpasses $1 billion, depending on who is building it and their labor costs and ability to milk their country over the life of the build program. Annual running costs are huge, too. So, while China has the capability to build something resembling a carrier, it will not be easy nor cheap, will probably be more akin to "prestige ships", and nowhere near as reliable as USN carriers until they have built probably 20 of them and lost maybe 8 - 10 due to all manner of damage ranging from grounding, collision, storm batering, torpedo hits, bomb hold fires, bomb explosions on deck and in the hangar, engine room fires, and numerous other things, including stress, strain, wear and tear, stability and instability issues, and running maintainence bills. The advantage the USN has is extensive battle damage, and around a hundred years (closing in on) of operational experience in designing, building, modifying, and owning them.

        Now, as lomg as no one sets off to destroy or atrack Chines CVs or CVNs, and as long as storms and fire damage donnotmhit the PLAN with painful regularity, China can build CVs and CVNs, but still have to perfec the steam catapult, or go VSTOL! or make other compromises. They will be a threat until beaten in a camoaign. They eill be a threat as long as oloicynmakers deem them to be, so tax payers ponynup taxes. Any navy with legit carriers is a potential threat to any other navy. That is just the way things are for some time to come.

        1. SkippyBing

          Re: wow, some downmodders are bloody clueless

          Well if they just want to know how to build a carrier they can look at the Midway or Intrepid museums, or just download the plans from the internet e.g. aircraft carriers aren't magic, they're just a bit pricey.

          And I don't know why you think steam catapults are complicated, it's just a piston with high pressure steam released into it, again you can get plans and a how to online.

          Plus you seem to be ranting now which is never a good look.

  13. stucs201

    Star-Trek retirements all round :(

    XH558 doesn't look like it'll be doing much more flying :(

  14. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Enterprise outdated

    Isn't "Enterprise" a rather outdated concept in America today?

    Perhaps the replacement should be called "Hedgefund" or "Creditswap" or just "Bailout"

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enterprise outdated

      That's why they started to name them after presidents who didn't make much... Gerald Ford? George Bush? Compare them to Washington or Lincoln.... ok, the Navy needs money so they try to appeal to politicians.... give us money and one day a carrier may bring your name.... but I guess they can also sponsor them, why not call them JP Morgan or Goldman-Sachs in exchange for some money? At least you will enjoy it a little if one gets sunk....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enterprise outdated

      The next UK carrier should be QE3 - 'Quantitative Easing 3'. Just stick the cost on the UK PLC Credit Card.

  15. david 12 Silver badge

    certainly influenced by US Navy traditions

    The episodes that he personally wrote featured sensible team-tasking control of the Enterprise from the bridge - as was required on big ships where the captain couldn't even see the engine controls let alone the left and right edges of his vessel.

    Later episodes featured notoriously laughable bridge control scenes, but in those first few episodes you could see how it worked when done properly, and why talking between the team members would be required.

  16. The Aussie Paradox

    What if...

    But what if there is an alien invasion and the people fighting them have their ship destroyed and need to use an old mothballed ship in an emergency?

    Sorry, just watched "Battleship" and still wondering why there was so much ordinance left on a museum ...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm waiting for the Stevel Segal movie :-)

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