Defense: A's for the E

As high as a 23-story building, longer than three football fields, the U.S.S. Enterprise is the world's biggest military ship and its only nuclear aircraft carrier. She is also a resounding success.

When the 85,350-ton flattop was christened in 1960, skeptics questioned whether the Enterprise's atomic propulsion could justify the added cost ($150 million). Last week, after 4½ months of combat duty off Viet Nam, the Big E—along with the only other nuclear vessel in the war, the destroyer Bainbridge—won straight A's from the Joint Congressional Atomic Energy Committee. Both ships' performances had amply demonstrated the tactical advantages envisioned by...

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