The USS Stennis Is A Fortress At Sea: By The Numbers

Illustration for article titled The USS iStennis/i Is A Fortress At Sea: By The Numbers

This shot of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) exemplifies the idea that nuclear super carriers are really fortresses at sea. Not to mention that they are some of mankind’s largest and definitely most complex inventions. Here are some “by the numbers” eye opening facts about the USS John C. Stennis:


Commissioned: December 9th, 1995

Home Port: Naval Base Kitsap, Washington

Air Wing: CVW-9, the Navy’s most modern with an all Super Hornet strike fighter force, which includes the following squadrons-

  • Strike Fighter Squadron 192 (VFA-192) “Golden Dragons”
  • Strike Fighter Squadron 97 (VFA-97) “Warhawks”
  • Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) “Black Aces”
  • Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) “Tophatters”
  • Strike Fighter Squadron 151 (VFA-151) “Vigilantes”
  • Electronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133) “Wizards”
  • Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112) “Golden Hawks”
  • Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8 (HSC-8) “Eight-Ballers”
  • Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 (HSM-71) “Raptors”
  • Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 Detachment 4 (VRC-30) “Providers”

Dimensions: 257 wide by 1,092 feet long by 244 high

Displacement: 103,300 tons

Propulsion: 2 Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors tied to 4 steam turbines and 4 shafts.

Total Horsepower: 260,000hp

Range: 1,000,000 miles before nuclear refueling

Propellers: 4 screws, each made out of bronze and measuring 22 feet across and weighing 66,200lbs


Rudders: 2, each 29 by 22 feet and weighing 50 tons

Anchor Weights: 30 tons each

Top Speed: Over 30 knots, rumored to be around 35 knots

Combat Aircraft: About 65 with a surge capability of over 85

Elevators: Four high-speed, each over 4,000 square feet.

Catapults: 4 310ft stroke steam catapults capable of pushing a 80,000lb aircraft to 140 knots


Arresting Cables: 4 cross-deck pendents each 2 inches thick made of braided steel and tied to a under-deck hydraulic engine

Flight Deck Size: 4.5 acres

Raw Materials: Close to 55,000 tons of steel and over 1,000,000lbs of aluminum

Operational Life Expectancy: Half a century

Compliment: 6,500 people

Defensive Weaponry: 2 Mk56 Sea Sparrow launchers, 2 RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile launchers, 3 Phalanx CIWS


Jet Fuel Storage Capacity: 3.5 million gallons

Consumable Stores: Enough food and supplies to operate for 90 days

Meals Served Per Day: 18,600

Eggs Served At Breakfast Alone: 12,000

Water distillation per day: 400,000 gallons, enough for 2,000 American homes

Electrical: 30,000 light fixtures, 1,600 miles of cable and wiring, 2,000 phones

Bedding: 14,000 pillowcases and 28,000 sheets

Number of compartments and spaces: About 3,500

Capacity of Air Conditioning System: 3,500 tons

Illustration for article titled The USS iStennis/i Is A Fortress At Sea: By The Numbers

Photos via US Navy


Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address

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the big canadian

What I really want to know is the “Why?” Everything on the ship probably costs around 100 billion dollars, and they have multiple ships like this. Where is the immediate danger? Parts of the country are falling apart, why isn’t everyone up in arms at this type of stuff?