1. The Lead Submarine Tender (USS Emory S. Land AS-39)
The USS Emory S. Land AS-39 is the lead submarine tender ship of the Emory S. Land-class. There are three such vessels in the class with the other two called the USS Frank Cable AS-40 and the USS McKee AS-41. As a tender ship, it provides spare parts, water, electricity, food, legal services, mail, and other essential services to submarines. In order to achieve this, the USS Emory S. Land AS-39 has a physical plant similar to that of a small town.
This submarine tender travels great distances to make sure it is available for assistance should the need arise. Since the ships’s commissioning, it has received four Meritorious Unit Commendations, the Navy Expeditionary Medal, and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and eight Battle Efficiency Awards.
2. High-Speed Combat Ship (USS Independence LCS-2)
This littoral or close-to-shore combat ship falls into the Independence-class as its lead ship. It was commissioned on April 26, 2008 and launched on January 16, 2010. The Independence is a small crew warship tasked with safeguarding the littoral zone. The Independence is tasked with hunting submarines, minesweeping, and battling small boats.
The vessel carries armament to evade attacks, but the kind of weaponry it carries can change depending on the mission. This is different from other ships which have a fixed amount of missiles and guns. The Independence can be loaded with off-board sensors, unmanned vehicles, and manned aircraft. The high-speed small crew ship was delivered to the Navy at the end of 2009
3. One of the Biggest U.S. Supercarriers (USS Gerald R. Ford CVN-78)
Known as one of biggest ships or supercarriers in the U.S. Navy, the USS Gerald Ford CVN-78 is the lead ship of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford-class. The vessel is named after Gerald Ford, the 38th president. It was launched on October 11, 2013, commissioned on July 22, 2017, and is expected to depart for its first deployment around the year 2020.
It displaces around 100,000 long tons and measures 1,106 feet (337 meters) lengthwise. The ship has two A1B nuclear reactors, four anti-aircraft missiles, an electromagnetic launch system for aircraft, and a RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile system. Still, it’s not the biggest ship in the Navy. That’s still coming up.
4. USS Gerald R. Ford CVN-78
The U.S. Navy signed a $5.1 billion contract to design and construct the USS Gerald R. Ford CVN-78. 19,000 workers worked on constructing this vessel at the Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding facilities in Newport News, Virginia.
The Ford class includes improvements over the Nimitz class as it is equipped with an AN/SPY-3 active electronically scanned array multi-function radar. It can launch 25% more aircraft than the Nimitz class, saving the Navy $4 billion in operating costs over a lifespan of 50 years.
5. Destroyer Ship (USS Kidd DDG-100)
Another vessel of the Arleigh Burke-class series is the USS Kidd destroyer. The ship was named after the Navy officer Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor while on board the USS Arizona.
The Kidd was involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a commercial plane that inexplicably went missing in March 2014 over the South China Sea. The Kidd also made an appearance in the film Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen during the scene in Egypt when it fires and destroys a rail gun.
6. USS Ohio SSGN-726
The U.S. Navy currently has 18 Ohio-class nuclear-powered submarines with 14 serving as ballistic missile submarines and another four which were converted into guided missile submarines. The class was named after its lead ship called the USS Ohio SSGN-726.
The Ohio was launched on April 7, 1979 and commissioned on November 11, 1981. It is nicknamed the ‘First and Finest!’ and the vessel stands by its motto “Always first.” It was also one of the ships converted from an SSBN ballistic missile submarine to an SSGN guided missile submarine.
7. Nuclear Attack Submarine (Seawolf-Class Attack Submarine SSN)
Like the Virginia-class attack submarines, the Seawolf-class is another type of nuclear-attack fast attack submarine classified as SSN in the Navy. This class was supposed to replace the Los Angeles-class, but the smaller Virginia-class took its place instead.
Out of all the planned 29 submarines in this class, only three are active. Meanwhile, the plans for 26 others cancelled. The class was commissioned in 1997 and was designed with the goal of battling ballistic missile submarines. The Seawolf-class is large, fast, quiet, and its submarines can carry twice as many weapons and torpedo tubes than the Los Angeles-class.
8. USS America LHA-6
The USS America LHA-6 is the first of the America-class amphibious assault ships, which replaced the USS Peleliu LHA-5 of the Tarawa-class. America‘s main function is to act as the flagship for warships during marine expeditions that require certain helicopters and aircraft.
With its home port in San Diego, California, the America was launched on June 4, 2012 and commissioned on October 11, 2014. The ship’s motto is “Bello vel pace paratus” which means “Ready for War or Peace.”
9. Transport Dock Ship (USS Somerset LPD-25)
The USS Somerset LPD-25 is part of the San Antonio-class vessels, which succeeded the Austin-class amphibious transport dock ships. The Somerset was launched on April 14, 2012 and commissioned on March 1, 2014. The vessel is named in honor of the slain passengers of United Airlines Flight 93. On September 11, they prevented terrorists from crashing into their intended location and the plane crashed in Somerset County, Pa. instead.
The vessel is usually docked at its home port in San Diego, California. It has the capacity to carry 800 passengers and displaces 25,000 tons when full. The Somerset is armed to combat air and surface threats with two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers and two 30-mm. Bushmaster II cannons.
10. Ghost Boat – Super-Cavitating Stealth Ship
Designed by a private American company called Juliet Marine Systems, the GHOST boat provides superior protection for the U.S. Navy personnel. The Ghost promises to whip across the ocean smoothly with both its 4,000 HP powered engines while avoiding radar detection.
The boat uses sophisticated hydroplane technology in order to skim across the waters without having to drag the hulls. In order to prevent the vessel from flipping over, Juliet Marine Systems used supercavitation hull, otherwise known as the small waterplane-area twin-hull (SWATH), which creates a bubble of gas enveloped around each of the ships legs and therefore decreases drag.
11. Aircraft Carrier (USS Enterprise CVN-65)
Succeeded by the Nimitz-class, the USS Enterprise CVN-65 is a decommissioned aircraft carrier. This vessel was the first aircraft carrier to run on nuclear power and the longest marine vessel ever built. The ship’s displacement was ranked as the 12th heaviest of all supercarriers after 10 of the Nimitz-class and the USS Gerald R. Ford.
Nicknamed ‘Big E,’ the Enterprise has several mottos, namely: “We are Legend;” “Ready on Arrival;” “Eight Reactors, None Faster” and “The First, The Finest.” Since the ship’s decommissioning on February 2, 2017, the vessel has been awaiting scrapping and recycling.
12. Multipurpose Amphibious Ship (USS Wasp LHD-1)
The USS Wasp LHD-1 is a multipurpose amphibious ship and the class leader of the Wasp-class. The primary function of this vessel is to land ground forces on enemy territory and provide the support and maintenance for the forces with its two NATO Sea Sparrow missile systems, two Rolling Airframe Missile systems, two Phalanx CIWS, and 0.50-cal. M2HB machine guns.
Launched on August 4, 1987 and commissioned for the first time on July 29, 1989, the Wasp‘s motto is “Honor, Tradition, Excellence.” The ship’s home port is in Norfolk, Va. and it serves as the flagship of the United States Second Fleet.
13. Supercarrier (USS George H. W. Bush CVN-77)
This aircraft carrier is the 10th and final vessel of the Nimitz-class supercarriers. The vessel is named after George H. W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States of America, who served as a naval aviator during the Second World War.
The ship’s home port is in Norfolk, Va. and serves by the motto “Freedom at Work.” Nicknamed ‘Avenger,’ the George H. W. Bush displaces 102,000 long tons with an overall length of 1,092 feet (332.8 meters). For its first deployment, the ship sailed across the Atlantic to participate in the joint Saxon Warrior exercise in Britain.
14. A Nuclear Powered Supercarrier (USS Nimitz CVN-68)
Another nuclear-powered supercarrier class of vessels in the U.S. Navy is the Nimitz-class with the USS Nimitz CVN-68 as its lead ship. The Nimitz is one of the largest warships in the world, launched on May 13, 1972 and commissioned on May 3, 1975 with the classification CVAN-68. When the vessel was designated as a multi mission aircraft carrier, it was given the prefix CNV-68.
All of the ships in the Nimitz-class only need to be refueled once during a 50-year service because of their nuclear-powered system. This particular vessel is nicknamed ‘Old Salt’ and serves by the motto “Teamwork, a Tradition.” The ship carries two Sea Sparrow anti-aircraft missiles, two RIM 116 Rolling Airframe Missiles, and two Gatling guns, among other armaments.
15. A Nuclear-Powered Submarine (Ohio-Class Ballistic Missile Submarines)
A class of nuclear-powered submarines, the Ohio-class, is divided into 14 ballistic missiles submarines and four that were converted into guided missile submarines. This class stores warheads which can read individual targets as well as 24 Trident II nuclear missiles.
The submarines have the ability to go undetected when launching intercontinental missiles. Each submarine in this class has two crews, one called the Gold Crew and the other the Blue Crew, and each serves deterrent patrols up to 90 days. The Ohio-class stands out for its stealth capabilities considering its ballistic missile predecessor submarines.
16. Aircraft Carrier (USS Midway CV-41)
The USS Midway CV-41 was an aircraft carrier and the lead ship of the Midway-class aircraft carrier ships. The vessel was launched on March 20, 1945 and commissioned only a week after the end of World War II. It was the largest ship in the world until 1955. Due to its size, it couldn’t cross the Panama Canal.
The Midway actively served for 47 years until it was decommissioned on April 11, 1992 where it now serves as a museum ship at the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, Calif. Nicknamed the ‘Midway Magic,’ this ship is the only remaining aircraft carrier not part of the Essex-class that was commissioned by the U.S. right after the Second World War.
17. USS Los Angeles SSN-688
At the center of the U.S. Navy are the Attack-class submarines. The USS Los Angeles is the lead ship of its class and the fourth to be launched from the city of Los Angeles on April 6, 1974. In 1977, it even hosted President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn during a demonstration of its capabilities at sea.
Up until 2007, the Los Angeles was the oldest submarine in service in the Navy. However, on February 4, 2011, it was officially decommissioned. The vessel was disposed of by recycling through the Ship-Submarine Recycling Program.
18. Virginia-Class Attack Submarine SSN-774
Also known as the SSN-774, the Virginia-class attack submarine is a nuclear-powered submarine built for quick attacks in coastal waters and across international waters. The Virginia-class submarines have replaced the older Los Angeles-class submarines and are classified as a less expensive version of the Seawolf-class attack submarines.
The U.S. Navy anticipates that this class of attack submarines will remain in service well after 2060. Currently, there are 14 of these submarines in service and a total of 48 planned. This underwater vessel stores Tomahawk tubes, torpedoes and missiles, and it contains several technological advances that previous U.S. submarines didn’t have, such as photonics sensors, modular masts, rescue equipment, and a payload module.
19. USS Ticonderoga DDG/CG-47
The USS Ticonderoga is a guided missile cruiser and the lead ship of the Ticonderoga-class. This was the first combatant vessel to use the Aegis combat system in order to trace and engage as many aircraft targets as possible.
Nicknamed ‘Tico,’ the Ticonderoga‘s motto is “First AEGIS Cruiser.” In 2004, the ship was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register to be disposed of, but currently stands as an inactive ship at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in Philadelphia.
20. USS Freedom LCS-1
The USS Freedom LCS-1 is the class leader of the Freedom series and was launched on September 23, 2006. It is a littoral combat ship, deployed close to shore to combat any attacks. There are two classes of littoral ships in the Navy, namely the Freedom-class and the Independence-class.
This particular ship conducts several kinds of missions close to shore including humanitarian relief and minesweeping. The Freedom can take on small ships and submarines, but not large warships. Read on for more impressive U.S. Navy ships.
21. USS Chief MCM-14
For conducting minesweeping missions to clear mines out of strategic waterways, the U.S. Navy has 14 of the Avenger-class mine countermeasure ships with MCM designated on their hulls. One of them is called the USS Chief MCM-14 which was launched on June 12, 1993 and forms part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The structure of the Chief consists of wood with a layer of plastic reinforced by glass. These materials act as a buffer against mine blasts and also moderate the ship’s magnetic signature. Its home port is in Sasebo, Japan.
22. USS Harpers Ferry LSD-49
“First in Freedom” is the motto of the USS Harpers Ferry LSD-49, the lead ship of the dock landing Harpers Ferry-class ships. This warship is named after the town of Harpers Ferry in West Virginia because of its strategic location during the Civil War with all the arsenal there.
The Harpers Ferry carries two 20-millimeter Phalanx CIWS mounts, two 25-millimeter Mk 38 rapid-fire cannons, two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers, and six 0.5 inch (12.7 millimeter) M2HB machine guns. Harpers Ferry provided humanitarian relief in Burma in 2008, and in 2009, the ship was involved in humanitarian rescue missions in the Philippines.
23. USS Arleigh Burke DDG-51
Formidable and sturdy, the USS Arleigh Burke is the first of the Arleigh Burke-class series of guided missile destroyers. The ship was launched on September 16, 1989 and commissioned on July 4, 1991. This navy ship is best known for its stealth technology to evade any anti-ship missiles.
The USS Arleigh Burke uses a slightly relegated version of the Aegis combat system which has the technology to trace, evade, and launch missiles all in one. The motto of this guided missile destroyer is “Fast and Feared.” Read on to discover more.
24. USS Turner Joy DD-951
Launched on May 5, 1958, the USS Turner Joy DD-951 was one of 18 U.S. Navy Forest Sherman-class destroyers. The vessel was named after Vice Admiral Charles Turner Joy who served the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War.
Before the ship was decommissioned in 1982, Turner Joy was stationed for its entire career in the Pacific Ocean where it was extensively involved in the Vietnam War and one of the main ships during the USS Maddox Incident, otherwise known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
25. USS Peleliu LHA-5
Before it was decommissioned in 2015, the USS Peleliu LHA-5 was one of the amphibious assault ships in the Tarawa-class series. The ship was supposed to be called the USS Khe Sanh or the USS Da Nang, but in the end it was named after the Battle of Peleliu, which took place in World War II.
It entered service in 1980, and soon earned the nicknames the ‘Iron Nickel’ and ‘The Fighting Five’ due to the many evacuation and rescue missions it carried out. During the Peleliu‘s active service, its motto was “Pax per Potens,” which means “Peace through Power.”
26. USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413
This bad boy was sunk by Japanese enemy warships during the Battle of Leyte Gulf off the Island of Samar on October 25, 1944. Despite its tragic end in which 90 people were killed, the crew didn’t go down without a fight. Because of this, the USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413 has been dubbed “the destroyer escort that fought like a battleship.”
Samuel B. Roberts was launched on January 20, 1944. The ship received its name after Samuel Booker Roberts, Jr., who received the Navy Cross for voluntarily navigating a landing craft towards enemy flotillas while other vessels were undertaking evacuation efforts in 1942.
27. USS Santa Fe SSN-763
This USS Santa Fe SSN-763 is one of 30 Los Angeles-class submarines. Launched on December 12, 1992 and commissioned on January 8, 1994, this submarine can fire Tomahawk land missiles and Harpoon anti-surface ship missiles. It also holds 10 Mk48 ADCAP torpedo reloads.
The Santa Fe was first deployed to the western Pacific Ocean and Persian Gulf in 1997. It displaces 6,927 tons when full and measures 361 feet and 11 inches (110.3 meters) lengthwise. Moreover, it boasts a sophisticated processing and sensor system. Between 2000 and 2006, the sub took home five naval awards.
28. The USS Zumwalt DDG 1000
Introducing the largest and the most powerful aircraft carrier and destroyer – the USS Zumwalt DDG-1000 guided missile destroyer. This vessel is the lead ship of the Zumwalt-class, which is designed for naval gunfire support and anti-aircraft weaponry warfare. It is 600 long, displaces 14,564 long tons and was estimated to cost between $3.5 billion and $4.4 billion.
With its home port in San Diego, Calif., the Zumwalt was launched in October 2013 and commissioned on October 15, 2016. This class of ships function as multi-session-capability vessels. Previous destroyer classes were tasked only with deep-water combat missions, but the Zumwalt-class can also supports ground forces in land attacks with its ability to hit targets as far as 83 miles (114 kilometers) away.
29. USS Hurricane PC-3
Coastal patrol ships are designated with the task of safeguarding the nation’s coastlines. The U.S. Navy launched its Cyclone-class patrol ships between 1992 and 1994. The third one, launched on June 6, 1992, is called the USS Hurricane PC-3.
The smaller size of the Hurricane allows for swift movement, and its auto grenade launchers and machine guns are fixed in place in case of any foreign incursion. Nicknamed ‘The Hurt and Pain,’ the Hurricane‘s home port is located in Manama, Bahrain, though it docked at several cities around the Great Lakes to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.
30. USS Lewis B. Puller ESB-3
The USS Lewis B. Puller ESB-3 was the first Expeditionary Mobile Base in the U.S. Navy, previously known as a Mobile Landing Platform as well as an Afloat Forward Staging Base. The Lewis B. Puller replaced the USS Ponce AFSB in 2017 as part of the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf.
The Lewis B. Puller was launched on November 6, 2014 and commissioned in Bahrain on August 17, 2017 when its prefix was changed from USNS to USS. The vessel is tasked with several low-intensity duties involving Expeditionary Sea Bases so that more expensive surface combatant warships can deal with important missions.
31. USS Pueblo (AGER – 2)
In the 1960s, the U.S. Navy launched three environmental research ships to be used as intelligence spy ships called the Banner-class series. The class consisted of the Banner, Pueblo, and Palm Beach. The North Koreans captured the USS Pueblo after they attacked it during the Pueblo Crisis on January 23, 1968.
There were 83 people on board the Pueblo when it was captured. The ensuing violence, which lead to one death, only served to exacerbate Cold War tensions. The ship is still held in North Korea today as a museum ship, but it is still classified as active and in service by the U.S. Navy.
32. USS Chinook PC-9
The USS Chinook PC-9 is another U.S. Navy’s Cyclone-class patrol ship that guards U.S. coastlines. Launched on February 26, 1994 and commissioned on January 28, 1995, the Chinook displaces 331 tons and measures 174 feet (53 meters) lengthwise.
The Chinook holds six Stinger missiles, two Mk38 chain guns, two 0.50 (12.7 millimeters) machines guns, and two Mk19 grenade launchers. The ships have also been awarded seven maritime awards since their commission. Read on to find out about more impressive ships.
33. USS Ponce AFSB-15
The U.S. Navy built several amphibious transport dock classes. The USS Ponce LPD-15 forms part of the Austin-class which was preceded by the Raleigh-class and succeeded by the San Antonio-class dock ships, otherwise known as floating forward station bases.
Despite attempts to decommission the Ponce in recent years, it remained in active service until 2017, after a 48-year run. It spent much of its time along the east Coast of the U.S., but was also deployed during Operation Desert Shield in 2006 and U.S. missions during the first Libyan Civil War in 2011.
34. USS Blue Ridge LCC-19
For large water invasions, the U.S. Navy invested in large amphibious command ships – and one of the series is called the Blue Ridge-class. The leader of this class is the USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 which is commanded by the U.S. Seventh Fleet.
The Blue Ridge‘s main function is to provide support to the command, control, intelligence, and computers of the staff and commander of the US seventh fleet. The vessel was named after the Blue Ridge Mountain range in the eastern Appalachian Mountains, and its home port is currently in Yokosuka, Japan.
35. USS Michael Monsoor DDG-1001
The second vessel of the Zumwalt-class, the USS Michael Monsoor DDG-1001 was launched on June 21, 2016 and its planned commissioning will take place in 2018. The ship is designed for high-intensity attacks near the shore and advanced land attacks.
The motto of the Michael Monsoor is “I Will Defend,” and it sure seems to be built for that function with its Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile system and its ability to launch vertical Tomahawk missiles. The ship displaces 14,564 tons and measures 600 feet (182.9 meters) long.
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