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USS Enterprise

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Humans
Class Name : USS Enterprise
Type : Aircraft carrier [1]
Unit Run :
CVN-65 Enterprise [1] - Destroyed
1 have been retired from service.
Commissioned : September 24th
Dimensions : Length : 335.64 m [2]
Beam : 75.6 m
Height : 76.2 m
Decks : ?
Mass : 93,000 metric tons approx
Crew : 6,190, - 3,350 Navy crew, 2,480 Air Wing
Armament : 2 x RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile launcher
3 x Phalanx CIWS 20 mm gun mount
Warp Speeds
(TOS scale) :
Normal Cruise : 0.00372
Diplomatic Capability : None
Expected Hull Life : 52


When the USS Enterprise was launched on September 24 1960, she was the largest naval vessel on the face of the Earth and only the second surface vessel designed to use a fission powerplant. Commissioned on November 25 1961, she quickly set several records for speed and endurance - in 1963/4 she served with the Sixth fleet in the Mediterranean sea, where she joined with the USS Bainbridge and USS Long Beach to form the first nuclear powered task force. These three ships were sent on "Operation Sea Orbit", a 30,565 mile voyage around the world which they accomplished without a single refueling or replenishment of any kind. Enterprise became the first nuclear powered vessel to enter combat when her aircraft struck targets in Vietnam, and she assisted in the evacuation of Saigon at the end of that conflict.

In October 1964 Enterprise was returned to dry dock for an overhaul and refit of her reactors. She was refitted again in 1973 to support the then brand new F-14A Tomcat fighter aircraft. Between 1979 and 1982 she was at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for another refit which involved considerable reconstruction to her island superstructure. She underwent several further refits and modifications, the most extensive of which was undertaken in October 1990 at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company; this was considered the most complex ever undertaken at the time, and allowed the ship to continue in service for an additional twenty five years. Enterprise completed the overhaul successfully on the 27th of September 1994.

In January 1995, the "Big E" returned to Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company for a further five month Selected Restricted Availability. This allowed upgrades to all of the berthing and dining areas, intelligence suites, combat and communications systems, command and control capabilities, ventilation systems, and underway replenishment equipment. She would undergo several more such refits during her life.

CVN-65 was replaced CVN-78 in 2013, retiring after 52 years of service.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home
2 Speculative This ship was seen on the recreation deck wall in TMP, and in Star Trek IV (though that ship was actually played by the USS Ranger). The length is that of the real USS Enterprise.
Film: Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home
Source : Speculative
Comment : This ship was seen on the recreation deck wall in TMP, and in Star Trek IV (though that ship was actually played by the USS Ranger). The length is that of the real USS Enterprise.


Although a naval vessel called the USS Enterprise certainly exists in the Star Trek universe, its precise nature is actually a little mysterious.

We first get a look at the ship on the Recreation deck scene in Star Trek : The Motion Picture. The picture is too small to really make out which ship it is, but it looks like the actual CVN-65 which really exists in our world; so the existence of this ship is confirmed.

In Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home, Chekov and Uhura board the Enterprise in order to collect high energy photons from its nuclear reactors for use in repairing the dilithium crystals on the HMS Bounty. However, the real USS Enterprise was not available for the movie so the Forrestal class CV-59 USS Ranger stood in for it instead. Since the Ranger is not identical to the Enterprise, we could conclude that in the Trek timeline there are actually two post WWII ships named Enterprise.

I considered creating two entries for CVs, using a picture of the Forrestal for the other Enterprise, but decided against it. Forrestal was a predecessor to Enterprise and as such was not nuclear powered; yet ST IV specifically states that the ship seen there has nuclear reactors. Whilst this doesn't rule out the idea of having two different ships, I choose to take it as an indication that the ship seen on the recreation deck and the ship seen in ST IV are indeed meant to be one and the same.

The information on the specs table is all correct for the real CVN-65 - even the warp speed! I toyed with the idea of trying to rate the ship's weapons on my scale, but decided against it in the end - the scale doesn't work too well at the low end anyway, and it pushes credibility that any number of these ships could defeat even a modest Starship. All information is coloured white because we don't have any official or canon guide to the ship's specifications - the Trek version may differ from the real life version in any or every way.

If I'm totally honest, the real reason for including this entry is that I wanted to include a few examples of real life items on the size comparison section in order to allow people to look at the Starships next to real world stuff. I especially recommend putting the USS Enterprise next to the Constitution class Starships - it's a fascinating comparison...

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 70,525 Last updated : 10 Aug 2005