The United States has 10 Nimitz Class aircraft carriers compared to Russia’s 1 Admiral Kuznetsov. But how do the two countries aircraft carriers compare to each other? Is the US Navy’s Nimitz class better than the Russian Admiral Kuznetsov? Which is the largest aircraft carrier? Which military utilizes them better? Let’s take a look at how the two compare in this episode of US Nimitz Class vs Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov.
It is imperative for powerful countries to showcase their strength, and nations often like to flex their military might like bodybuilders posing in a mirror. And, why not? What would be the point of keeping such strength a secret? We thought it would be cool to compare the main aircraft carriers operating in the two most prominent navies of the world; The United States and Russia. Let’s take a closer look at these giants of the sea in this episode of The Infographics Show, The United States’ Nimitz Class vs Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov.

The United States has a total of 10 identical aircraft carriers that all fall under the designation “Nimitz Class.” The USS Nimitz (CVN 68) was the first of the crew, deployed in 1975. The Russian aircraft carrier, named Admiral Kuznetsov, was launched in 1985 and is Russia’s only one. A sister ship for the Russian carrier, named the Varyag, was in the works, but the hull ended up being sold to China. It currently lives on in China’s navy as the Liaoning. Talk about playing for another team!

Each country’s aircraft carrier was built for slightly different reasons. The Nimitz class vessels were built primarily as a home for American aircrafts, while Admiral Kuznetsov was built to be its own offensive power in Russia’s navy. Due to their slightly different purposes, a direct comparison should be taken with a tiny grain of salt, but we’re going to pepper you with some more stats, nonetheless!

The armaments for the Nimitz class carriers include several NATO Sea Sparrow, Phalanx CIWS and Rolling Airframe Missile mounts. Admiral Kuznetsov, on the other hand, is armed with ASW rocket systems, SA-N-9 “Gauntlet” eight-round vertical SAM launchers, combined gun/missile systems with twin 30mm Gatling guns, and SA-N-11 “Grison” missiles.

The United States Nimitz Class carriers have a length of about 1,092 feet (333 meters), while The Admiral has a length of about 999 feet (305 meters), making it just a little bit shorter than its American counterpart.

The American carriers have a beam of about 134 feet (41 meters), and weigh approximately 97,000 tons. The Russian carrier has a beam of 121 feet (37 meters) and weighs about 67,000 tons. Basically it’s the reverse of Rocky IV, with Russia having a Rocky Balboa against the United States’ fleet of Ivan Dragos.

The two nations have very different focuses when it comes to powering their ships. Admiral Kuznetsov is primarily powered by 8 turbo pressurized boilers, 4 turbines, 9 turbogenerators, and 6 diesel generators, while each Nimitz Class carrier is equipped with and powered by two nuclear reactors and four shafts located on board. Both the Nimitz Class carriers and the Admiral have speeds of around 30 knots, or about 34 miles per hour.

Admiral Kuznetsov typically carries around 40 aircraft and has a crew of about 2,000. Each of the Nimitz Class carriers has about 60 flying vessels on them and crews upwards of 5,000.

While the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and the Nimitz class carriers are the current aircraft carrier leaders in their respective country’s navies, it should be noted that the United States is in the works of replacing their Nimitz class ships with an improved fleet of Gerald R. Ford class carriers. The United States Navy recently reported that the first of its class is 98% complete, and it is set to be delivered sometime in 2017.  

This new class of carriers has many similarities with the older Nimitz class, but each of the newer carriers will save the United States $4 billion in total ownership costs during their 50-year service life. To put that in perspective, each ship would be saving the equivalent of over 83,000 Unites States salaries, based off the average wage of $48,098.63 for Americans in 2015. That’s quite a lot of cheddar, or in this case, Cap’n Crunch might be more appropriate!

The new Gerald R. Ford class carriers also have the added benefits of operating with almost 700 fewer crew members than the carriers before, reduced standing and maintenance workload for the crew, and improved corrosion control throughout the ship. The Gerald R. Ford will be the first aircraft carrier designed with all electric utilities and will have better striking power than the older carriers. The seas of our world are about to have some shiny, new American ships on ‘em!

We hope you enjoyed this comparison of The United States’ Nimitz Class aircraft carriers vs Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov. Do you think America really needs 10 aircraft carriers at $4.5 billion each, or is Russia making the right decision by sticking to just one? Let us know in the comments!  And if you enjoy our videos and want to help us continue to make more of them, please head on over to our Patreon and show us some love; we’ll be sure to include your names in our next episode. Don’t forget to give this video a like, share with your friends, and make sure to subscribe so you can keep up with our show!



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