It is an unusual image. Three US aircraft carriers participated together in front of the island of Okinawan in some maneuvers next to the South Korean Navy. They are the first combined military exercises between the two countries in four years and the aircraft carriers participate in them USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodor Roosevelt, and USS Nimitz. All of them carried out air defense, anti-ship, anti-submarine warfare and maritime interdiction operations in international waters off the Japanese island, according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
The USS Ronald Reagan It is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that displaces 100,000 tons. The carrier strike group includes Carrier Air Wing 5, guided-missile cruisers Antietam and Chancellorsville, and destroyer Squadron 15. USS Ronald Reagan is the ninth Nimitz-class carrier. She has a nuclear propulsion system, allowing her to operate for more than 20 years without refueling, and a maximum crew of 5,000 personnel.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt was recently overhauled for system repairs and upgrades, preservation of her hull, and suitability of the deck to house the fighter F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, the new generation of US combat aircraft. It is currently the second aircraft carrier in service with the capacity to host F-35Cs.
The USS Nimitz names the aircraft carriers of its class, ten in all. Although a distinction can be made. The bottom seven are often considered to be of the Theodore Roosevelt class. The Nimitz displaces nearly 102,000 tons at a top speed of 30 knots. She gets her name from the Admiral Chester Nimitz who commanded the Pacific Fleet in the Second World War and was the last five-star admiral in the United States Navy.
Also participating in the maneuvers off the island of Okinawa were the guided missile cruiser USS Antietamthe destroyer USS Benfold equipped with the Aegis system and resupply ship USNS Big Horn. South Korea, for its part, sent the 14,500-tonne amphibious landing ship Marado, the 7,600-tonne destroyer Sejong and the 4,400-tonne destroyer Munmu, among others.
The purpose of this exercise is to consolidate operations between the two navies in the face of North Korea’s provocation and the increasingly close possibility, according to the US, that Kim Jong Un orders a new nuclear missile test in the coming days. Seoul officials have said Pyongyang has conducted multiple experiments with a detonation device in preparation for its seventh underground explosion.
In the recent meeting held by the US president, Joe Biden, and his South Korean counterpartthe White House occupant vowed to deploy “strategic assets,” meaning aircraft carriers, long-range bombers or missile submarines, if needed to deter North Korea as part of efforts to bolster extended deterrence.
China’s Type 003 aircraft carrier, delayed
Precisely this weekend the launching of what would be the third Chinese Aircraft Carrier, no official name but known under the code Type 003, built at the Shanghai shipyard. The ship was to be inaugurated during the Dragon Boat Festival, but for unknown reasons the ceremony has been postponed without a specific date. Chinese media such as the South Morning China Post speculate that there have been technical problems.
Is about a ship that displaces between 85,000 and 100,000 tons and that it is equipped with three electromagnetic catapults for rapid launching of various aircraft, an oblique runway with arresting cables and two elevators larger than those used on earlier Chinese aircraft carriers, probably to accommodate two aircraft simultaneously.
Unlike America’s nuclear-powered megaships, the new crown jewel will be powered by an integrated electric power and propulsion system, consisting of two gas turbine generators and four diesel-electric generators. These will produce about 150 megawatts of electricity when combined.