What are the different classes of US warships?

Reading today’s paper regarding the airstrikes in Somalia, I noticed the USS Eisenhower is a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. That got me to thinking about what are the active classes of ships, what differentiates them, and how/why were the classes named as such?

“Nimitz class” means a series of ships all following the same general design with the USS Nimitz being the first of that design to be built.

By the same general design I’m referring the the hull size and shape. Details of the superstructure on the island and the equipment can vary as improvements are developed over the years.

U.S. Navy ship classes

What silenus’ post showed are ships of the various types. Within each type are several classes each class having a different design from the other classes.

For example, here is alist of cruisers of WWII. Note that within a class, all ships have the same displacement, length, beam, power plant, armament, etc. The class is named after the first ship whose keel is laid down. In the Portland class, for example, although the Portland was begun first, the Indianapolis was completed first but it’s still the Portland class.

Here is a discussion of Essex class aircraft carriers.

Click through the types. Later pages break them down by class.

OK. But you must realize that some of us, like me, don’t have the capacity to do that. :slight_smile: