They’re among the biggest Navy ships ever built – and capable of making high-speed, hairpin turns in the open ocean.
Video has captured the 99,000 ton USS Lincoln, a US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, gliding with surprisingly fast speed and agility in the water as it conducts sea trials.
The ship is among some of the most complex ever built, measuring nearly 1,100 feet in length, housing as many as 6,000 sailors, and supporting more than 70 aircraft.
Despite its large size, the carrier can move at almost 35 miles per hour at full steam thanks to its nuclear power plants.
Commissioned in 1989 and built to last 50 years, the ship recently went through a mid-life servicing.
This included a refueling of the carrier’s nuclear power plant, a modernization of its computer and war-fighting systems throughout the ship, and total rework of its flight deck gear, according to the NavyTimes.
Naval-Technology.com reported that the ship left Naval Station Norfolk on June 5 to conduct carrier qualifications and flight deck certification tests.
Earning the certifications will mark major milestones in the vessel’s journey from the shipyard to deployment with the US Navy as a fully capable warship.
Additionally, sailors from the USS Abraham Lincoln’s crew will be assessed to determine their capability in successfully conducting day and night-time flight deck operations as part of the evaluations.
‘It was awesome,’ Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Addison Mila told the NavyTimes of the high-speed turns.
‘The reason we do those big turns is to see how the ship reacts – if the ship needed to quickly move to avoid an unexpected navigational hazard, we rely on these tests to understand how our ship would perform.’
Because aircraft carriers are high-value targets, they need to be able to make tight turns to avoid collisions or enemy torpedoes.
Avoiding potential collision targets is necessity more than ever following the crash between US destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, and a Philippines-flagged cargo ship just outside Tokyo Bay, Japan on June 17.