The USS John F. Kennedy was part of the Kitty Hawk-class of conventionally-powered vessels in service with the United States Navy in the Atlantic Ocean and during a bulk of the Cold War years and beyond. Initially ordered as a nuclear type craft, the John F. Kennedy was switched over to boiler power while still under construction and became the final ship in the Kitty Hawk line to enter service (then under the designation of "CVA-67"). The JFK served from 1968 through to August of 2007, only recently being retired from active service. Through that time, the JFK had been across the Atlantic, traversing to and through at various hotspots and more recently even took part in the American offensive against the Taliban after the events of September 11th, 2001. The vessel was named in honor of slain United States President John Fitzgerald Kennedy - gunned down by an assassin's bullet while on visit in Dallas, Texas. The in-port cabin of the JFK vessel was decorated by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy whom was also present at the ships christening.
As a conventionally-powered craft, the USS John F. Kennedy was fitted with 8 x boiler systems (1,200psi) feeding 4 x steam turbines which in turn operated 4 x propeller shafts to the tune of 280,000 shaft horsepower allowing for speeds of up to 34 knots in ideal conditions. The crew complement of the John F. Kennedy totaled some 5,410 personnel including officers. This was broken down into 2,930 sailors and officers serving the vessel with the other 2,480 airmen and officers as part of the onboard air wing. Armament for the JFK (apart from the air wing) was strictly defensive, consisting of two Sea Sparrow missile launchers, 2 x Rolling Airframe Missile launchers and 2 x Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS) for anti-aircraft / anti-missile support. Her air wing consisted of up to 80 aircraft that eventually spanned aviation generations and would go on to include the A-7 Corsair, A-6 Intruder, S-3 Viking, F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet series aircraft among others.
The USS John F. Kennedy operated the early 1970's in the Mediterranean Ocean and surrounding regions. During this time, she was fitted to launch the newly operational Grumman F-14 Tomcat interceptors and the Lockheed S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare aircraft, effectively extending her offensive capabilities two fold. The 1980's saw her serving off of the coast of Lebanon in response to the terrorist US Marines barracks bombing. By the end of the decade, her flight decks were alive once again in anger against Libyan MiG aircraft in the over Libya and Iraqi targets in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm (by this time the flight deck was refitted to handle the newer McDonnell Douglas / Boeing F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters). Events of 9/11 once again called the JFK into offensive-minded service - most likely for the last time - against the Taliban and Al Qaeda targets. As one of the most expensive vessels afloat with the United States Navy at the turn of the New Millennium, it was decided to end her sea-going days with a farewell tour which ended in Mayport, Florida and ultimately Norfolk, Virginia.
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USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63); USS Constellation (CV 64); USS America (CV 66); USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Flag Ship / Capital Ship
Serving in the fleet Flag Ship role or Capital Ship in older warship designs / terminology.
1,052.0 ft 320.65 m
252.0 ft 76.81 m
37.0 ft 11.28 m
8 x Boilers with 4 x Steam turbines developing 280,000 horsepower to 4 x shafts.
34.0 kts (39.1 mph)
kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers
1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
2 x GMLS Mk 29 Sea Sparrow anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile launchers
2 x Phalanx anti-aircraft / anti-missile CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
2 x RIM-116 RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) missile launchers
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
80 aircraft of various makes throughout her career including Vought A-7 Corsair II strike fighters, Grumman A-6 Intruder bombers, Grumman F-14 Tomcat interceptors, McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets multi-role fighters and Lockheed S-3 Viking anti-submarine aircraft.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.
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