USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67)

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Kennedy in front of Naval Station Mayport after a 2003 overhaul
Kennedy in front of Naval Station Mayport after a 2003 overhaul
Type Aircraft carrier
Order April 30, 1964
Keel laying October 22, 1964
Launch May 27, 1967
Namesake John F. Kennedy
1. Period of service flag
Commissioning 7th September 1968
Decommissioning August 1, 2007
Whereabouts Reserve fleet
Technical specifications

75,000 t


321 m


39 m


10.9 m


3297 officers and men


30 knots


3 × Mk-29 Sea Sparrow starter
4 × Phalanx CIWS




Date Nolite Rogare (Give, be unwilling to ask)


November Juliet Foxtrot Kilos

Tactical designation



Big John

USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) is an aircraft carrier in the United States Navy . The ship is a heavily modified version of the Kitty Hawk class and is therefore managed by the Navy as a separate (embarkation) class . The ship was originally classified as an Aircraft Carrier for Offensive Air Combat Operations (CVA), the classification was changed to CV due to its ability to defend itself against submarines (ASW). The John F. Kennedy was in service with the US Navy from 1967 until its early retirement in 2007.



The fuselage of the aircraft carrier is 302 meters long and 39.6 meters wide at the waterline, the overall length is 320.5 meters. The flight deck has a maximum width of 82.4 meters. With a draft of 10.9 meters, the displacement is 87,000 standard tons . The flight deck is 19.6 meters above the waterline.

View of the forward flight deck

Flight deck

With a length of 320 meters and a width of 82 meters, the entire flight deck of the John F. Kennedy is about 19,000 m². It has four catapults (two on the bow, two on the angled landing deck) and four safety cable systems . In contrast to its predecessors, the edge of the landing deck is beveled. The arrangement of the elevators was taken over by the Kitty Hawks , three are on the starboard side (one behind, two in front of the island), one elevator is on the port side at the aft end of the runway.


The island, which houses ship and aircraft command, is about 12 meters wide and 36 meters long. Aft of the island is a free-standing mast that carries additional radar systems. The rear half of the island is taken up by the chimney, the outlet angled outwards in order to avoid obstructions to the view of the approaching aircraft. At the leading edge of the island, at a height of 34 meters above the waterline, there is the command bridge to the ship's command , and above it the Admiral Bridge . At the very top on the inside of the island is the flight control center for monitoring the take-off and landing carrier aircraft. The island ends with a single mast, the top of which is 58 meters above the water.


According to the original plan, the ship should be powered by nuclear energy ; however, it was discarded for reasons of cost. Like the Kitty Hawk carriers, it received a conventional steam drive with four geared turbines that draw their steam from eight boilers at 82 bar. The total output of 280,000 shaft horsepower is transmitted to four shafts with one screw each.


While the Terrier guided missile system was left out of the Enterprise simply for reasons of cost, it was not used in the construction of the John F. Kennedy because the air defense could be better taken over by escort ships equipped with guided missiles. When it was commissioned, it was therefore completely unarmed, but in the early 1970s it received three starters for a radar-controlled air defense system of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow type . In the early 1980s three were additionally Phalanx - short-range defense systems installed on missile defense.


From the start, the aircraft carrier had an SPS-48 high-finder radar on the free-standing mast. The SPS-43 - 2D radar over the bridge was replaced by a SPS-49 in 1980 . The Sea Sparrows fire control took over from 1980 six Mk 91 fire control radars . On the mast on the island there were also navigation radars and antennas for electronic warfare . Similar to the USS America , the John F. Kennedy received space for an SQ-23 sonar , which was not installed. It also has two chaff launchers to defend itself against incoming missiles .


Construction and testing

Paid from the 1963 budget, the ship was laid down on October 22, 1964, and the porter was launched on May 27, 1967. On September 7, 1968, the US Navy put the John F. Kennedy into service. The cost of building the ship was between $ 277 million and $ 288 million. She made her maiden voyage in the Mediterranean .

period of service

1970s and 1980s

Damage to the flight deck of the JFK after the collision with the Belknap

The maiden voyage and some of her subsequent voyages in the 1970s took her to the Mediterranean in order to be able to react better to the constantly deteriorating situation in the Middle East . Also in the 1970s, she was upgraded to take the F-14 Tomcat and the S-3 Viking on board. In a collision with the guided missile cruiser USS Belknap (CG-26) in 1975 , a sailor from John F. Kennedy and seven from Belknap died , and their superstructures burned down completely. In 1978 the ship underwent its first major overhaul, which was completed without incident a year later.

In 1978 there were considerations to build the carrier (identification number 71) due for the financial year '79 according to the design of John F. Kennedy , which at that time would have cost approximately 1.6 billion US dollars and to meet the demands of the Carter government for a " cheap "aircraft carrier priced at around $ 1.5 billion. However, since three Nimitz-class girders were already under construction, it was decided to build another nuclear-powered girder , also because of the rising oil prices .

In 1981 the porter was sent on its ninth mission. The mission took them for the first time through the Suez Canal into the Indian Ocean . During the trip, John F. Kennedy hosted the first visit by a Somali head of state on board an aircraft carrier.

Because of the looming conflict in Lebanon, it was relocated off the coast of Beirut in 1983 to show its presence. The porter spent most of the year on patrol in the eastern Mediterranean.

In 1984 the ship came for another overhaul in the dry dock of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and was provided with urgently needed upgrades. Back in service in July 1986, the John F. Kennedy took part in the International Naval Review as the Armada's flagship . In August the course went back to the Mediterranean. In March 1987 the ship finally returned to the United States.

During the twelfth overseas mission in August 1988, two Libyan MiG-23 'Flogger E' fighter-bombers came ominously close to the formation. F-14 Tomcats took off to intercept the enemy jets. Although the American fighter planes took off to provide peaceful escort to the two MiGs until they left the fleet, an aerial battle developed between the American and Libyan jets, during which the two MiGs were shot down.


The John F. Kennedy returned to the United States in time to attend Fleet Week in New York City and the 4th of July celebrations for American Independence Day in Boston . Quite unexpectedly, she was dispatched for Operation Desert Shield in August 1990 . With almost no preparation time, she arrived in the operational area in September 1990 and became the flagship of the commander of the Red Sea Battle Force . On January 16, 1991, Carrier Wing 3 launched attacks on Iraqi military forces as part of Operation Desert Storm . Between the start of the operation and the ceasefire declaration, 114 air strikes and almost 2,900 other sorties against Iraq were launched from its deck . 1800 tons of bombs were dropped.

USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) in April 2004 with Fast Combat Support Ship Sacramento-class (AOE)

On February 27, 1991, President George HW Bush declared a ceasefire in Iraq and ordered all American forces to withdraw. The John F. Kennedy began its journey home and crossed the Suez Canal again. It reached Norfolk on March 28, 1991 and was received with the greatest solemnity for war returnees since World War II . Over the next four months, the ship was repaired in Norfolk on the flight deck, the supply and engine systems. In addition, the ship was converted to accommodate the new F / A-18 Hornet .

When the modifications were completed, the aircraft carrier set out on its 14th mission to the Mediterranean. He supported forces there in the upcoming intervention in Yugoslavia . When the ship finally returned to the United States, it was placed in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for a two-year overhaul . After the modifications, the ship was transferred to the Mayport Naval Station near Jacksonville , Florida - the new home port.

The 15th mission took them again to the Mediterranean. She returned in time for Fleet Week '98 New York.

During the 16th mission in mid-September 1999, she came to the rescue of the tug Gulf Majesty , which sank during Hurricane Floyd, and rescued the crew. The mission then took the carrier back to the Middle East, where she was the first American warship to enter a Jordanian port and was allowed to welcome the King of Jordan on board. She then took up her role as a supporter of Operation Southern Watch . During this mission, John F. Kennedy aircraft set a new record of accuracy for bombing.

21st century

The retirement ceremony for the USS John F. Kennedy took place on March 23, 2007.

The John F. Kennedy was the only porter to sail the oceans on New Year's Eve 1999 and was therefore referred to as the "Carrier of the New Millennium" for fun. She reached Mayport on March 19, 2000. After a brief period of maintenance, the ship headed north to take part in the International Naval Review on July 4. Then it went on to Boston for the Sail Boston 2000 .

During the last upgrade, the ship was equipped with an experimental system that allows it to target targets that are not yet within range.

In 2001, the military capabilities of John F. Kennedy were classified as inadequate in a pre-deployment test . During the test, two catapults and three aircraft elevators were inoperative and two boilers could not be fired. Therefore the Kennedy could not be relocated to the Persian Gulf as planned; the commandant was relieved of his command.

From February to June 2002, Kennedy aircraft dropped more than 32 tons of bomb material (29 t) on " Taliban and al-Qaida targets".

On April 1, 2005, the Navy officially announced that a planned and already budgeted 15-month overhaul would no longer take place. In February 2006 the flight deck was revoked because of problems with the brake cylinders of the safety cables. On March 23, 2007, the retirement ceremony for John F. Kennedy was held in Mayport . Since the ship was not replaced by a new aircraft carrier, this meant reducing the carrier fleet from twelve to eleven active units. Originally the John F. Kennedy was to be kept in service until around 2018.

In July 2007 the ship was towed to Hampton Roads . In August she was to be moored at the Navy Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in Philadelphia. However, since the water at the pier there was not deep enough, it remained in Hampton Roads until March 2008, when the necessary depth had been created in Philadelphia. There it was held as a reserve until the USS George HW Bush (CVN-77) entered . On November 23, 2009, the Navy announced that it would donate the ship as a museum ship if an operator for the museum was found. There are efforts to bring the John F. Kennedy to Florida.


Web links

Commons : USS John F. Kennedy  - Collection of Pictures, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Terzibaschitsch: aircraft carrier of the US Navy . P. 284
  2. ^ Terzibaschitsch: Sea power USA . Bernard & Graefe, Bonn 1982, ISBN 3-8033-0327-3 , p. 293
  3. Report on ( Memento from March 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  4. ^ Carrier USS John F. Kennedy to be retired in September . In: Stars and Stripes
  5. ^ Navy Times: Group has big plans for JFK carrier museum . Archived from the original on September 17, 2012 ; accessed on April 9, 2020 .