An aircraft carrier is actually a warship of military’s navy section which serves for the military as its seagoing airbase. The aircraft carriers have the feature to support a full-length flight deck along with other facilities to not only carry but to arm and deploy any aircraft on board.
In layman terms, the aircraft carrier is the main ship of any naval fleet which allows the naval forces to project their air power across the world.
As these aircraft carriers hold a special pale in navy regarding their ability to deploy the aircraft at a moment’s notice, we have decided to add in this invaluable navy as well as air force asset in our topic today.
Today we bring to our readers a list of top aircraft carriers in the world (part 1).
Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier
The first up on our list of the aircraft carriers is the Gerald R. Ford-class which is actually a successor to an equally yet a slightly less powerful aircraft carrier named Nimitz Class. Gerald R. Ford-class are undoubtedly the most powerful warships to be ever built in the world. The first of this aircraft carrier entered in the US military service back in 2017 and nearly 10 of these are already in manufacturing stages.
The hull design for the Gerald R. Ford-class is quite similar to that of Nimitz class along with multiple redesigning to make it into an armed stealthy island. Each of the Gerald R. Ford-class is equipped to carry on it an airing of 85 of the following aircraft.
- Fixed wing aircraft
- VTOL aircraft
- Unmanned aerial vehicle
As for the defense of the aircraft carrier, it can deploy 16 of the Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles from its two launchers. In action to it, it also has 2 launchers which can fire 21
There are 10 of the Nimitz class aircraft carriers with 3 being the Nimitz class ships while other 7 are the Improved Nimitz class ships. These are the biggest warships in service after the Ford Class.
These Nimitz class ships are equipped to have nuclear missiles along with an ability to carry 80 of the fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters. The main aircraft operated from these ships are the F/A-18E Super Hornets along with EA-6B Prowlers and E-2C Hawkeye.
In case of an attack such as the anti-ship curies missiles, these aircraft carriers are equipped with automated self-defense systems.
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov
The Admiral Kuznetsov ship entered the service of Russian naval force back in 1991. While it is much smaller when compared with American aircraft carriers, it still holds quite the same level of power as them.
This warship is equipped to carry 40 of the fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters which mainly include the Su-33 fighter jet and the Ka-27 helicopter.
The aircraft carrier is also capable of engaging against the following targets.
Instead of being powered by a nuclear power source, it is currently being powered by the oil fired boilers. The ship might be powerful it still has suffered its own fair share of accidents which led to deaths of both aircraft and pilots.
This Russian aircraft carrier is currently under refurbishing, repairing and upgrading for extending its service life. The aircraft has being under this redesigning and upgrading since 2018 and is expected to make a rigorous return to the service sometime in 2021.
The second ship of the Kuznetsov class was the ship named Varyag which was laid down for Ukraine back in 1985 and was launched back in 1988. However, after the Soviet Union fell, the funding for this ship was halted and the unfinished hull was then sold to the Chinese who restored and refitted it. This aircraft carrier after completion was commissioned into Chinese naval force back in 2012 with a new name Liaoning. At that time, it was one of the most highly prioritized Chinese naval programs.
The Liaoning now has a capacity to carry 60 of the helicopters and the fixed wing aircraft. Currently, it operates the following aircraft.
- Chinese J-15 air superiority fighters
- Z-8 helicopters
- Russian made Ka-31 helicopters
The ship is also equipped with some
HMS Queen Elizabeth
The British Royal Navy ordered for them to have two of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers. The first of these Queen Elizabeth calls carriers was the HMS Queen Elizabeth which was laid down for construction back in 2007 and it entered the service after completion back in 2017.
As for HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sister ship, It was the HMS Prince of Wales which was laid for manufacturing back in 2011, launched in the sea back in 201 and is now expected to be commissioned into the navy sometime in 2020. These two of the Queen Elizabeth class carriers are among the largest warships that have been ever developed for the British Royal Navy.
Prior to them, Royal Navy had lightweight carriers of the Invincible class but these new aircraft carriers are superior to them in terms of both power and carrying capabilities. These two can easily carry a fleet of 40 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
The Queen Elizabeth class carriers are quite similar in design with the Russian Navy’s Admiral Kuznetsov and the Chinese made Liaoning. Instead of operating air superiority fighter jets, HMS Queen Elizabeth operates from it a fleet of light weight but speedy F-35B fighters that have the VTOL feature.
In addition to these fighters, the HMS Queen Elizabeth also operates from it h following fleet of helicopters for anti submarine warfare and utility missions.
- CH-47 Chinook
In order to counter the airborne attack targets, the ship is equipped with close-in weapons systems. As for seaborne threats, they are taken care of by the 30 mm naval guns.