USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) makes up a portion of the powerful Nimitz-class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy (USN). The class numbers 10 total warships with all ten in active service as of this writing (2019). The design is potent in the systems and subsystems carried, the ability to range out to any point in the world, and an inherent capability to carry a large multi-faceted air waing comprised of fighters, attack aircraft, special-missions platforms, helicopters, and support aircraft. USS Harry S. Truman remains a powerful cog in the U.S. Navy war machine and has seen actions throughout the "Global was on Terror" following the events of September 11th, 2011.
As with her sister ships in the Nimitz-class, the USS Harry S. Truman features a starboard-set island superstructure and an angled port-side-facing flight deck to go along with a forward-facing launching area over the forecastle. There are four hangar elevators servicing the flight deck along with four steam catapults, two along the forward deck and two at the angled fly-off area (four total aircraft can be launched simultaneously). Beyond fixed-wing types, the vessel can also launch and retrieve helicopters with no modification or special equipment/capability needed by the ship.
The class began commissioned service in mid-1975 where there was still a Cold War being fought against the Soviet Union. Sub-classes in the Nimitz family line include the Theodore Roosevelt-class and the Ronal Reagan-class both detailed elsewhere on this site). The Nimitz-class represent some of the most costly warships of the United States Navy (and anywhere in the world for that matter) proving that enhanced capabilities come at a price.
Truman was ordered on June 30th, 1988 and awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding who laid her keel down on November 29th, 1993. She was launched on September 7th, 1996 and commissioned for service into the USN on July 25th, 1998. She homeports out of NS Norfolk in Virginia and fights under the motto of "The Buck Stops Here" - a reference to her namesake, former U.S. President Harry S. Truman. Nicknames include the "Lone Warrior".
As built, the warship displaces 116,400 tons (short) under load and has an overall length of 1,092 feet with a beam measuring 252 feet and a draught down to 41 feet. Power is from is 2 x Westinghouse A4W series water-cooled nuclear reactors making her range essentially unlimited (based in the service life of the reactors themselves, which require mid-life refueling). These feed 4 x Steam turbines developing 260,000 horsepower which drive 4 x Shafts under stern, helping this floating island reach speeds of 30 knots in ideal conditions.
Aboard is a crew of over 5,600 personnel that includes officers, enlisted, security, support staff, mechanics, and air wing and so on. The air wing alone accounts for around 2,480 staff.
Armament, centered largely on defense, consists of 2 x "Sea Sparrow" (medium-ranged) missile launchers and 2 x "Rolling Airframe Missile" (RAM) launchers to counter the threat posed by inbound aerial threats (including cruise missiles). For close-in defense there are 3 x 20mm Mk 15 "Phalanx" CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)s provide a final level of defense against incoming enemy missiles and aircraft. This defensive ring is also augmented by the fleet support vessels sailing along with the aircraft carrier. From an offensive standpoint, the USS Harry Truman can field as many as 90 aircraft of various types and includes anti-submarine/ship helicopters, search and rescue systems and fighter/bombers.
The warship carries 3D air-search radar, 2D air-search radar, target acquisition systems, full air traffic control systems, landing aid radars and a bevy of other support systems. The SLQ-25A "Nixie" is used for torpedo countermeasures and the AN/SLQ-32A(V)4 is the full CounterMeasures (CM) suite.
Since commissioning, USS Harry S. Truman has been involved in various global actions including enforcement of a No-Fly Zone over Iraq in Operation "Southern Watch". She later actively participated in the U.S.-lef invasion of the country in 2003. Following hostilities there, the Harry Truman took a more humanitarian role in assisting hurricane-hit regions of the southern United States after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Beyond that service, the vessel has undergone regular and preventative maintenance service as well as a notable system upgrade in 2006. in 2007 she lost three airmen when an E-2C Hawkeye crashed after taking off from her deck. In 2008 and, again, in 2011, the U.S. DoD spent around $538 million USD on nuclear reactor cores on Truman to ensure longevity of this Nimitz-class warship. Maritime security operations followed in 2010. In 2012 her nuclear powerplant was modernized and a refit followed in 2017.
March 2019 - As a cost-savings move, USS Harry S. Truman is under consideration for early retirement rather than face a scheduled costly mid-service-life refueling (tentatively scheduled for 2024), possible systems and support upgrades, and general operational sustainment. Savings could reach upwards of $3.4 billion USD for the Department of Defense.