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Pentagon budget 2023: US Navy confirms plans to remove carrier Nimitz from battle force

The US Navy plans to retire aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in 2025. (US Navy)

The US Navy (USN) confirmed plans on 13 April to retire the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) by the middle of this decade.

“USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is planned to be removed from the battle force in fiscal year (FY) 2025, when the ship's Terminal Off-load Program begins, with inactivation scheduled to begin in 2027,” USN officials acknowledged to Janes in a statement.

There had been discussions in naval circles about the possibility of lengthening the service time for Nimitz, to help the USN maintain its carrier fleet. When the proposed FY 2023 budget request was released on 28 March, USN officials balked at confirming the future of the carrier.

“Upon decommissioning, Nimitz will have served its country for 50 years spanning from Operation ‘Earnest Will' in the Arabian Gulf to its 11-month deployment in the Indo-Pacific and Middle East regions in 2020–2021,” USN officials said.

“As the navy continues to accept Gerald R Ford-class carriers, we will remain a ready, agile force to compete and win around the world at any time,” USN officials noted.

The next-generation Ford-class ships are designed to surpass Nimitz-class carriers for power margins, sortie rates, and overall effectiveness.

The first of the new ships, USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78), is scheduled for its first operational deployment near or in the third quarter of 2022.

Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding yard has launched the second Ford-class carrier, John F Kennedy (CVN 79), and is also building two more of the class – Enterprise (CVN 80) and Doris Miller (CVN 81).

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