The 10th Nimitz-class carrier, CVN-77, will be the transition ship to the next generation, the CVNX, the result of a focused process of change to realize military capabilities that would meet the new demands of a changing security environment.
The integrated warfare system for the CVNX will be derived from the "baseline" version introduced in CVN-77.
CVNX innovations will be spread between the first two ships of the class, which are projected for delivery in 2013 and 2018, respectively, and will include a new-design nuclear reactor and propulsion plant.
Beginning with the first CVNX, an electro-magnetic aircraft launching system (EMALS) will replace the steam catapults that are currently used to launch carrier aircraft EMALS will significantly reduce weight, catapult manning requirements and life-cycle costs.
The innovations incorporated into the second CVNX will include an electro-magnetic aircraft recovery system (EARS) and flight deck redesign that will reduce crew workload, enhance safety and reduce the costs of operating and maintaining a carrier throughout its 50-year service life.