How Fast Can an Aircraft Carrier Turn? The Answer Will Surprise You

How Fast Can an Aircraft Carrier Turn? The Answer Will Surprise You

There’s still something awe-inspiring about watching a massive piece of the Pentagon’s power-projection apparatus doing tricks on the open sea.

 

Here's What You Need to Remember: Just because the Lincoln’s hauling hundreds of tons of high-tech equipment, dozens of aircraft, and thousands of sailors doesn’t mean the carrier can’t turn on a dime at more than 30 knots.

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The USS Abraham Lincoln is objectively not the most nimble vehicle in the Pentagon’s arsenal.

At 1,092 feet long, 252 feet wide and nearly 100,000 tons of naval engineering expertise, the nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier wasn’t designed to chase Russian submarines or blow up Somali pirates, but to serve as a floating hub for American airpower across the planet.

Its motto of “shall not perish,” culled from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, is no wishful thinking: the Lincoln wasn’t just built to fight, but endure.

But just because the Lincoln’s hauling hundreds of tons of high-tech equipment, dozens of aircraft, and thousands of sailors doesn’t mean the carrier can’t turn on a dime at more than 30 knots.

Just watch this brief yet delicious Navy video of the Lincoln performing high-speed turns in the Atlantic Ocean.

OK, sure, it’s not totally the same as watching a third-generation Soviet-made T-80 battle tank pull off turns ripped from “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” — technically, the Lincoln’s pulling off a totally different kind of “drift” than the type Japanese street racers talk about, but that’s a conversation for another day.

There’s still something awe-inspiring about watching a massive piece of the Pentagon’s power-projection apparatus doing tricks on the open sea.

It certainly beats out this silliness from “Battleship.”

This article originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter. This article first appeared in 2017 and is reprinted here due to reader interest.

Image: Reuters