NEWPORT NEWS, Va., May 8, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) announced today that the nation's newest and most advanced nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), returned to the Newport News sector following successful completion of initial sea trials. The sea trials are an aggressive series of operational tests to demonstrate that Reagan's two nuclear propulsion plants and their operators are fully mission capable.
"Builder's trials went extremely well," said Bob Gunter, Northrop Grumman Newport News senior vice president, Aircraft Carrier Program. "We had about 450 Northrop Grumman Newport News employees riding sea trials, and we were all very pleased and proud to see the Ronald Reagan successfully underway for the first time. All indications are that our customer, the U.S. Navy, is equally as pleased. We've successfully demonstrated and tested critical ship's systems and they have met or exceeded our expectations."
Adm. Frank L. "Skip" Bowman, director of the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, conducted the initial sea trials. Bowman concluded that Reagan's propulsion plants and their operators met or exceeded expectations. "Everyone's hard work and training leading up to sea trials was readily apparent. I was very pleased to see the professionalism and formality of the sailors as they successfully put Reagan's propulsion plants and the entire ship through their paces. The crew's continued hard work will pay dividends as Reagan prepares to join her sister ships in defending our freedom and prosecuting the global war on terrorism," Bowman said.
Also taking part in the sea trials were Tom Schievelbein, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of the Newport News sector; Rear Adm. Dennis Dwyer, NAVSEA Program Executive Office, Carriers; and Capt. Thomas F. Violette, Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding at Newport News.
Ronald Reagan sailors, Northrop Grumman Newport News shipbuilders and NAVSEA and Supervisor of Shipbuilding personnel worked side-by-side testing systems to ensure the warship can operate in defense of freedom around the world for the next 50 years. Reagan Commanding Officer Capt. J. W. "Bill" Goodwin told the crew after getting underway, "Be ready mentally and physically for the next event on the schedule. Keep the focus and level of professionalism in everything we do during sea trials. You are the plankowner crew of the newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the greatest Navy in the world. I'm proud to call you shipmate. As always, let's do it safely, professionally and on time."
Named after America's 40th president, Reagan is the ninth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier built by Newport News and the first carrier named for a living president. The keel of Reagan was laid Feb. 12, 1998, and the ship was christened at Newport News March 4, 2001. The ship will be delivered to the Navy in June 2003.
Using millions of parts from over 3,000 suppliers in 47 states and the District of Columbia, the Reagan incorporates dozens of new technologies and innovations developed since the first Nimitz-class carrier, USS Nimitz (CVN 68), was delivered to the Navy in 1975. Among the changes are a completely redesigned island, a bulbous bow for improved hull efficiency, highly and integrated ship systems with increased capacity to support future upgrades and more facilities for women than on previous ships of the class.
Reagan towers 20 stories above the waterline, and at 1,092 feet long, is nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall. The ship displaces approximately 95,000 tons of water when afloat. Reagan has a 4.5-acre flight deck, more than seven million feet of cable, and when operational will house approximately 6,000 personnel and 80 aircraft onboard.
Northrop Grumman Newport News, headquartered in Newport News, Va., is the nation's sole designer, builder and refueler of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of only two companies capable of designing and building nuclear powered submarines. Newport News also provides after-market services for a wide array of naval and commercial vessels, and has the capability to design, build and maintain every class of ship in the U.S. Navy's fleet. The Newport News sector employs about 18,000 people.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $25 billion global defense company, headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With approximately 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
LEARN MORE ABOUT US: Northrop Grumman news releases, product information, photos and video clips are available on the Internet at: http://www.northropgrumman.com . Information specific to the Newport News Sector is available at: http://www.nn.northropgrumman.com .
CONTACT: Jerri Fuller Dickseski Northrop Grumman Newport News (757) 380-2341 LCDR Flex Plexico Ronald Reagan Public Affairs (757) 342-5973