ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – January 14, 2009 - The nation’s 10th and final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77), was commissioned on 10 January with a host of new technologies developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
The ship’s namesake and his son, the current President George W. Bush, were present. Chief of Naval Research, Rear Admiral Nevin P. Carr, and the ONR Executive Director, Dr. Walter F. Jones, were also on hand to witness the event.
“It’s great to see tangible systems and capabilities going to sea in this magnificent war ship. It’s a real tribute to the many who have worked long and hard, including scientists and engineers,” said Carr.
Likewise, Dr. Jones noted that, "When one sees the technology employed on the USS George H.W. Bush, we can take pride in knowing our investments in research have improved our Sailors' warfighting abilities. These Sailors are deploying with the best systems available while performing in a complex operating environment. In fact, we are currently working on technology that will make the next generation of ships even more advanced."
The USS George H. W. Bush is the final ship built in the Nimitz class of carriers. CVN-77 will feature a number of improvements over its predecessors, including significant upgrades funded and developed by the ONR. Highlights include:
•Improved data management systems that enhance C4I capability, minimize data push and maximize network capacity.
•Redesigned propellers that improve ship performance and reduce noise were developed in partnership with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock (NSWCCD).
•The Vacuum Collection/Marine Sanitation Device incorporates Fixed Activated Sludge Treatment (FAST) that mitigates sewage and gray water, using biological treatment and ultraviolet light, eliminating the need for chemicals (also developed with NSWC)
•High-Strength, Low Alloy steel (HSLA-65) was used extensively in the flight deck and upper decks to improve strength and reduce weight above the waterline.
ONR’s continuous investments in new and innovative technologies build and maintain the world’s most capable Navy. In fact, ONR’s science and technology investment portfolio is aimed at meeting the next generation warfighter’s broad spectrum of requirements, which includes providing the latest technology for the Navy’s newest class of aircraft carriers, CVN-21. The new class of carriers features many ONR-developed technologies that will sustain the Navy’s warfighting dominance, ensure a technological advantage for our warfighters and protect our nation’s interests. Highlights include new nonskid flight deck coatings that will last longer, reducing maintenance and preservation costs; UHF-L band antennae that enable advanced multi-functional RF distribution for VHF-UHF communication; a Plasma Arc Waste Disposal technology that processes 6,800 lbs of solid waste per day; and combined UHF and Ku-Band arrays that provide Line-of-Sight functionality as well as weight and space savings for integration of high frequency Ku-Band phased arrays.