Northrop Grumman Corporation announced that the nation's newest and most advanced nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Ronald Reagan (CVN 76
), returned to the Newport News sector following successful completion of initial sea trials. The sea trials are an aggressive series of operational tests to demonstrate that Reagan's two nuclear propulsion plants and their operators are fully mission capable.
Adm. Frank L. "Skip" Bowman, director of the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, conducted the initial sea trials. Bowman concluded that Reagan's propulsion plants and their operators met or exceeded expectations.
Also taking part in the sea trials were Tom Schievelbein, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of the Newport News sector; Rear Adm
. Dennis Dwyer, NAVSEA Program Executive Office, Carriers; and Capt. Thomas F. Violette, Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding at Newport News.
Ronald Reagan sailors
, Northrop Grumman Newport News shipbuilders and NAVSEA and Supervisor of Shipbuilding personnel worked side-by-side testing systems to ensure the warship can operate in defense of freedom around the world for the next 50 years. Reagan Commanding Officer Capt. J. W. "Bill" Goodwin, reiterated to the vessel's crew the importance of their role onboard this prolific vessel. "Be ready mentally and physically for the next event on the schedule. Keep the focus and level of professionalism in everything we do during sea trials. You are the plankowner crew of the newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the greatest Navy in the world."
Named after America's 40th president, Reagan is the ninth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier built by Newport News and the first carrier named for a living president. The keel of Reagan was laid Feb. 12, 1998, and the ship was christened at Newport News March 4, 2001.
The vessel is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in June 2003.
Reagan towers 20 stories above the waterline, and at 1,092 ft. (332.8 m), is nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall. The ship displaces approximately 95,000 tons of water when afloat. Reagan has a 4.5-acre flight deck, more than 7,000,000 ft. of cable, and when operational will house approximately 6,000 personnel and 80 aircraft onboard.