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07 August 2017

US Navy reveal awesome firepower of £4.7billion USS George HW Bush as Royal Navy commander praises Britain’s own new massive aircraft carrier

THE US Navy has revealed the awesome firepower of its new £4.7billion aircraft carrier – as a Royal Navy commander praises Britain for our own new model.

The USS George HW Bush – used in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria – was pictured off the coast of Scotland on Sunday with an amazing fleet of fighter aircraft and a crew of 5,000.

The colossal 97,000-tonne vessel towers some four stories above the waterline
The colossal 97,000-tonne vessel towers some four stories above the waterline
PA:Press Association
The colossal aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush has been anchored off the British coast
The colossal aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush has been anchored off the British coast
This is how the George HW Bush compares to our own model

The 97,000-tonne and 1,092ft Nimitz class aircraft left onlookers stunned as it steamed through the Channel.

It came as a senior commander in the Royal Navy said Britain’s own new £3 billion aircraft carrier will allow the UK to take its place at the top table of the world’s military powers.

Commodore Andrew Betton said the flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth was “firmly the right thing” for the UK to invest in, given its role as a permanent member of the United Nations security council.

Other military leaders said the Queen Elizabeth and its sister ship HMS Prince of Wales would mark Britain as a player on the world map, and be able to match the capabilities of the larger fleet of US warships.

The USS George HW Bush was first spotted anchored in British waters at the end of July, ahead of a joint US and UK training exercise.

Members of Britain’s new carrier strike group are engaged with the US Navy and other international allies in Exercise Saxon Warrior, aboard American aircraft carrier the USS George HW Bush.

F-18 jets on the flight deck of the US Navy carrier
PA:Press Association
Two helicopters on the flight deck off the USS George HW Bush
PA:Press Association

The 97,000-tonne and 1,092ft Nimitz class aircraft carrier was off the coast of Scotland on Sunday in the latest phase of the war game.

The UK’s carrier strike group will set up on the Queen Elizabeth in the coming months.

A Hawkeye jet on the flight deck of the the US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush
PA:Press Association
The colossal aircraft carrier was pictured during a training exercise in the UK
PA:Press Association

Cmdr Betton, commander of the Royal Navy’s carrier strike group, said the two new carriers marked a huge step for UK defence that would “usher in a new era of carrier strike activity”.

Speaking aboard USS George HW Bush, he added: “The ability to scale from humanitarian assistance, response to natural disasters, through to a poise to try and deter a potential conflict and if necessary to engage as a serious tier one partner in the international coalition to take our place at the top table.

“As a United Nations permanent security council member, I feel it’s firmly the right thing for the United Kingdom to be doing.”

American aircraft carrier the USS George HW Bush
American aircraft carrier the USS George HW Bush off the coast of Scotland on Sunday
PA:Press Association

The Royal United Services Institute recently warned that the £3 billion carrier could be disabled with a single strike from a relatively cheap missile costing less than £500,000, and sunk by multiple missiles.

Other recent warnings around the Queen Elizabeth have concerned its technology and vulnerability to cyber attack, as well as the number of ships and maritime aircraft available to protect it.

The US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of Scotland during Exercise Saxon Warrior
PA:Press Association
Incredible photos show the power of the US’ warship
PA:Press Association

Captain Ken Houlberg, the UK carrier strike group chief of staff, said the capability delivered by an aircraft carrier and strike group “sets that nation on the world map – it’s a player”.

He added: “It’s got hard power tools that can deliver capability across the spectrum of conflict, from humanitarian and disaster relief through defence engagement to full high-end war fighting with our coalition allies. It sets Britain apart.”

People stop and look out at the carrier as it steams through the Solent today
People stop and look out at the carrier as it steams through the Solent last month
PA:Press Association

Commissioned at the beginning of 2009, the 97,000-tonne George HW Bush boasts an awe-inspiring array of weaponry.

It is capable of carrying up to 80 aircraft on its four-and-a-half acre flight deck for deployment in warzones around the world.

The super-sized warship is loaded with F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet fighter jets, along with Seahawk helicopters, Hawkeye planes and a Boeing EA-18G Growler.

The carrier can hold up to 80 aircraft on its 4.5 acre flight deck, including Seahawk helicopters and Hawkeye planes
The carrier can hold up to 80 aircraft on its 4.5 acre flight deck, including Seahawk helicopters and Hawkeye planes
PA:Press Association
Donald Trump's USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier arrives in Portsmouth

Powered by nuclear reactors that can operate for more than 20 years without refuelling, it is expected to operate for about 50 years.

It must also carry enough food and provisions for the colossal horde of people on board.

The ship carries enough food and supplies to operate for 90 days – serving some 18,150 meals every day.

The ship is pictured is British waters ahead of a joint US and UK military training exercise
The ship is pictured is British waters ahead of a joint US and UK military training exercise
Getty Images – Getty
The carrier's deck is packed with fighter jets and other aircraft as it steams through the Solent
The carrier's deck is packed with fighter jets and other aircraft as it steams through the Solent
Getty Images – Getty
F-18 fighter jets are seen packed onto the deck of the carrier ahead of Exercise Saxon Warrior
F-18 fighter jets are seen packed onto the deck of the carrier ahead of Exercise Saxon Warrior
PA:Press Association
A crew member mans a gun as he keeps look out on board the US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
A crew member mans a gun as he keeps look out on board the US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
PA:Press Association
A red ensign from a ferry dropping off passengers flies alongside the carrier as it lays anchor near Southampton
A red ensign from a ferry dropping off passengers flies alongside the carrier as it lays anchor near Southampton
PA:Press Association

It also has 30,000 light fixtures and 1,600 miles of cables and wiring, as well as 1,400 telephones, 14,000 pillowcases and 28,000 sheets.

The 1,092ft-long Nimitz class aircraft carrier, one of 10 in the American Naval fleet, is too large to enter Portsmouth Harbour and so had to drop its anchor in the Solent’s Stokes Bay today.

The carrier and its crew have been deployed for seven months in the Gulf and the Mediterranean – launching airstrikes as part of the 72-member international anti-ISIS coalition.


They are now gearing up for the next part of their mission – Exercise Saxon Warrior, one of the largest war games co-hosted by the UK and US – which begins on Monday and will also involve Nato partners.

Speaking on board the warship, Commodore Andrew Betton, commander of the Royal Navy’s carrier strike group said the imminent exercise is “multinational”, and will be run around the British Isles for the next two weeks.

The ship carries enough food and supplies to operate for 90 days – serving some 18,150 meals every day
The ship carries enough food and supplies to operate for 90 days – serving some 18,150 meals every day
Reuters
British military personnel are on board the USS George HW Bush for a joint exercise
British military personnel are on board the USS George HW Bush for a joint exercise
EPA
Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander James Capps is pictured on board the USS George HW Bush
Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander James Capps is pictured on board the USS George HW Bush
PA:Press Association
A Seahawk helicopter and crew members are silhouetted on board the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
A Seahawk helicopter and crew members are silhouetted on board the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
PA:Press Association
The ship is powered by nuclear reactors that can operate for more than 20 years without refuelling
The ship is powered by nuclear reactors that can operate for more than 20 years without refuelling
PA:Press Association

He said: “With the Nato task group and the George HW Bush task group, we are going to be exercising anti-submarine, anti-air and land attack capabilities over the next couple of weeks.”

Rear Admiral Kenneth Whitesell, commander of the US Navy’s carrier strike group 2, said they have been working with the UK carrier strike group for the past two-and-a-half weeks.

THE USS GEORGE HW BUSH AIRCRAFT CARRIER

:: The carrier is nearly as long as the Empire State Building is high, and has a top speed that exceeds 30 knots

:: It is powered by nuclear reactors that can operate for more than 20 years without refuelling, and is expected to operate for about 50 years

:: Three two-inch diameter arresting wires on the deck bring aircraft going 150 miles per hour to a stop in under 400ft

:: The ship towers 20 storeys above the waterline with a four-and-a-half acre flight deck

:: It has four bronze propellers – each of which is 21ft across and weighs more than 27 tonnes

:: Steering is done through two rudders, each of which is 29ft by 22ft and weighs 45 tonnes

:: Four high-speed aircraft elevators bring planes to the flight deck from the hangar

:: The ship carries enough food and supplies to operate for 90 days – with 18,150 meals served daily

:: Distillation plants provide 400,000 gallons of fresh water from the sea on a daily basis

:: On board there are 30,000 light fixtures and 1,600 miles of cables and wiring, as well as 1,400 telephones, 14,000 pillowcases and 28,000 sheets

Cmdr Betton said the placement of British carrier strike group battle staff on board the USS George HW Bush for the past week in preparation for the exercise has been a “fantastic training opportunity”.

He said: “We have already prepared for this exercise, which starts in earnest on Monday.

Two people watch from the coast as the colossal vessel steams through the Solent strait
Two people watch from the coast as the colossal vessel steams through the Solent strait
Getty Images – Getty
An F-18 on board the US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush
An F-18 on board the US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush
PA:Press Association
Detail on the side of Captain William Pennington's F-18 jet on the US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
Detail on the side of Captain William Pennington's F-18 jet on the US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
PA:Press Association
A view of the stern of the US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush
A view of the stern of the US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush
PA:Press Association

“We are going to be embarking with 60 UK – largely Navy but Navy, Air Force and Army – personnel, to command this exercise on behalf of Admiral Whitesell.

“It is his task group, but he is letting me run the show for two weeks, in preparation for running our own Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group in a couple of years’ time.”


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