CVN-79 North Dakota Class
(Note: drawing contains some parts and lower hull details taken from

Ship Characteristics

Dimensions Length 1,235.0ft
Beam 150 ft
Draft 39 ft
Displacement (Standard) 102,950 tons
Displacement (Full Load) 120,750 tons
Performance Speed (max) 33 knots
Armament Aircraft (1986) 36 F13F, 24 F4H, 12 A2U, 12 A3J, 4 EA3J, 4 W2F, 4 S2F, 4 KW2F
Aircraft (2008) 24 F14F, 24 F10U, 24 A2H, 12 A4J, 4 EA4J, 4 W3F, 4 S3F, 4 KS3F


The North Dakota class were lineal developments of the Ohio class aircraft carriers but featured a the new multi-functional phased array antennas that allowed a simplified bridge structure. An unseen feature of the North Dakota class was that it had a greater height between decks to allow for additinal cabling without constricting internal space. Also, a new bulbous bow significantly reduced drag, allowing speed to increase back to 33 knots.

North Dakota was actually ordered in 1977 although President Carter refused to include her in the 1977 budget request, vetoed the defense budget when funds for her construction were added by Congress and then had to see his veto overturned. However, no additional ships of this class were ordered under his administration and construction was only resumed when President Reagan was elected in 1980. In order to make up for lost time, two carriers of this class were ordered in 1980 and a fourth in 1981. North Dakota saw service before she was officially commissioned when she "ran trials" in the South Pacific off Chile before the Falklands War. The first four of these ships saw the completion of the planned 18-CVN fleet. Construction then continued at a slow rate to replace the four oldest CVNs. The USS Azores is the last of this class; a new CVN is being designed that will start to enter the fleet in 2022. The first of these ships is expected to be laid down in 2015 and they will be built at three-year intervals to maintain the 18 CVN fleet.

Class Members

Number Name Ordered Laid Down Launched Commissioned Fate
CVN-79 North Dakota 1977 1977 1981 1983 In service as of 2009
CVN-80 Nevada 1980 1980 1984 1986 In service as of 2009
CVN-81 Arkansas 1980 1980 1984 1986 In service as of 2009
CVN-82 Utah 1981 1981 1985 1987 In service as of 2009
CVN-83 Tennessee 1983 1984 1989 1991 In service as of 2009
CVN-84 Kentucky 1984 1985 1990 1992 In service as of 2009
CVN-85 Iceland 1996 1997 2001 2004 In service as of 2009
CVN-86 Azores 2000 2001 2005 2008 In service as of 2009
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License