US Navy to equip a Nimitz class aircraft carrier with Northrop Grumman's new system

According to information published by Northrop Grumman on October 5, 2022, the U.S. Navy has approved Northrop Grumman Corporation’s new Electronic Chart Display and Information System (Navy ECDIS) for deployment to its fleet.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 US Navy's Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. (Picture source: US Navy)

The U.S. Navy’s Operational Test and Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR) issued a formal determination that Navy ECDIS is “operationally suitable, operationally effective and cyber survivable.” This new capability will be a core element to all U.S. Navy bridge and navigation systems.

Navy ECDIS processes and displays multiple chart formats including digital nautical charts developed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The system tracks targets from the vessel’s navigation radar, enabling creation of route plans, automation of plan execution, and monitoring progress along the route. Safety checking functions analyze chart data and radar targets to warn of hazards to safe navigation while underway.

Navy ECDIS will provide the next generation of navigation capabilities to the fleet including compliance with the standard for mission interoperability with NATO allies, implementing cybersecurity requirements as well as enhancements to the human-machine interface to simplify operation, improve situational awareness, and increase the safety of navigation.

OPTEVFOR’s approval of Navy ECDIS is the culmination of nearly a year of rigorous government testing. The test and approval process began with sea trials on the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and continued with evaluation activities at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD).

The Navy has directed the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) to be the first ship in the fleet to receive Navy ECDIS. NSWCPD will perform the installation this October.

The Navy plans to install the system on 115 ships in the next three years, demonstrating the power of scalability of software defined systems such as Navy ECDIS.

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is the fourth Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered, aircraft carrier in the United States Navy. She was launched in 1984, and saw her first action during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

The aircraft carrier has a length of 1092 feet (332.8 m), a beam of 252 ft (76.8 m), and a draft of 37 feet (11.3 m). She can reach a top speed of 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph).

The fourth Nimitz class is powered by two Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors, four steam turbines, and four shafts. The aircraft carrier can carry up a complement of 3200 sailors.