Aircraft carriers in serviceEdit
Aircraft carriers are generally the largest ships operated by navies. A total of 22 aircraft carriers in active service are maintained by nine navies. In addition, the People's Republic of China's People's Liberation Army Navy possesses the former Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag. Australia, Brazil, France, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and the People's Republic of China also operate vessels capable of carrying and operating multiple helicopters.
Classes currently in service:
- Brazil (1)
- NAe São Paulo (A-12): 32,800-ton ex-French carrier FS Foch (launched 1960), purchased in 2000.
- France (1)
- Charles de Gaulle (R 91): 42,000-ton nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, commissioned in 2001.
- India (1)
- INS Viraat: 28,700-ton ex-British carrier HMS Hermes (launched 1953), purchased in 1986 and commissioned in 1987, scheduled to be decommissioned in 2019.
- Italy (2)
- Giuseppe Garibaldi (551): 14,000-ton Italian STOVL carrier, commissioned in 1985.
- Cavour (550): 27,000-ton Italian STOVL carrier, commissioned in 2008.
- Japan (1)
- Hyūga class: two helicopter destroyers (ASW carriers) planned, of which one is already in commission.
- Russia (1)
- Admiral Flota Sovetskovo Soyuza Kuznetsov: 67,500-ton Kuznetsov class STOBAR aircraft carrier. Launched in 1985 as Tbilisi, renamed and operational from 1995.
- Spain (1)
- Principe de Asturias (R11): 17,200-ton STOVL carrier, commissioned in 1988.
- Thailand (1)
- HTMS Chakri Naruebet: 11,400-ton carrier based on Spanish Principe De Asturias design. Commissioned in 1997, though remains predominantly inactive due to lack of funds.
- United Kingdom (2)
- Invincible class: Three STOVL carriers were originally commissioned, of which two are in active service.
- Queen Elizabeth Class: Two CATOBAR carriers under construction. They are named the Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales and are to be commissioned in 2020 and 2022 respectively.
- United States (11)
- USS Enterprise (CVN-65): 93,500-ton nuclear-powered supercarrier commissioned in 1961. First nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Scheduled for decommissioning in 2013, may be extended to 2014-2015.
- Nimitz class: ten 101,000-ton nuclear-powered supercarriers, the first of which was commissioned in 1975.
- A Nimitz class carrier powered by two nuclear reactors and four steam turbines is 1,092 feet (333 m) long and costs about $4.5 billion. The United States Navy has the world's largest carrier fleet, with eleven in service and one under construction (all of them supercarriers). It is also the only navy to possess operational supercarriers. The U.S. Navy's aircraft carriers are a cornerstone of American perceived power projection capability
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