I surmise these tests to the former USS America (CV-66) will provide an unprecedented watershed of forensic information. Essentially she will be tested to destruction. So gratefully, no similar huge warship has ever been sunk in combat, or sunk yet. She represents the culmination of more than 50 to 100 years in design technology, armor, compartmentation, fire fighting, and flood control and likely much more. Such a vessel has never ever really had been put to the ultimate test. USS Forrestal (CV-59) came closest with it's terrible fire in 1968 in the Gulf of Tonkin. Enterprise (CVN, then CVAN-65) then too. What information gained will be of inestimable value in the next generation of nuclear powered super carriers, CVN-78 and beyond. A visible evolution of change of late has already begun with the new Ronald Reagan CVN-76, and the future George W. Bush CVN-77. The new CVN-78 representing a new generation of such ships and beyond is in the design stage now.
Such tests may harken back to the tests off the New Jersey coast when Col. Billy Mitchell demonstated a battleship could be sunk by aircraft alone in the 1920's. Then there is the then unprecedented shock tests to the brand new USS Tambor (SS-198) fleet submarine in December 1940. This was later expanded to all new ship types, but the famous Tambor tests were they very first. These tests have been credited with providing more useful information on the effects of explosions on submarines than all World War II experience combined. These tests were responsible for detecting and correcting many conditions that could have been fatal if experienced under actual attack. The Navy very often does do things right!
Edited By Dolphin on 1114899606