(or Navy Grey on a very rainy day!!)
Occasionally I do a blog post about things outside the normal #dlr_blog area of coverage and when the chance to go and see George H.W. Bush presents itself it would be a shame to let it pass by.
The object of interest is actually the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) which is the 10th and final Nimitz-class supercarrier built for the United States Navy and it has been spending a few days moored in Stokes Bay in the Solent off Gosport prior to taking part in some naval exercises in the waters around the UK.
She is a sizeable vessel with a displacement of 114,000 tons) and is 1092 feet longs, 252 feet wide but can still make at least 30 knots. She also carries a mixed fleet of up to 90 aircraft comprising of F18 fighter jets, E2 Hawkeye surveillance planes and H60 helicopters.
In addition to her aircraft the carrier also packs a significant defencive punch with 2 × Mk 29 RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile launchers , 2 × RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile launchers and 3 Phalanx CIWS gun mounts as well as numerous .50 caliber machine gun positions.
This is definitely one hornet’s nest that you don’t want to mess with!!
It did seem like some of the crew were somewhat bemused by the boatloads of onlookers that were braving torrential rain to come and have a close look at their vessel!
The MOD Police were out on patrol keeping a close eye on the various sightseeing and passing vessels to make sure nobody strayed into the exclusion zone.
More photos can be seen here.
It is interesting to note that the new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy are not that much smaller than USS George H.W. Bush, something to look forward to in coming years as both a potent symbol of power projection and a pretty big tourist attraction!