Top 10 Aircraft Carriers: Symbols of Naval Power and Prestige

Top 10 Aircraft Carriers: An aircraft carrier is more than just a large warship with combat capabilities. Due to the endless territorial conflicts that exist worldwide, the aircraft carrier is a symbol of might and prestige for navies all over the world.

Among all nations’ war material, these new “battleships” have been one of the most important additions. These ships have had a significant impact on several nations’ defense systems ever since they were first built.

Known as floating air bases, these enormous aircraft carriers are outfitted with a full-length flight deck that can be used for aircraft recovery, deployment, armament, and transportation. Serving as a naval fleet’s capital ship on a waterfront, these ships are capable of transporting a wide range of aircraft, such as fighters, strike aircraft, and helicopters equipped with effective weaponry, among others.

The majority of global powers are currently defending their maritime rights and interests by operating or constructing highly developed aircraft carriers. Thirteen navies around the world are currently using 41 active aircraft carriers.

The navies of China, the UK, India, France, Russia, and Italy all currently operate one aircraft carrier, while the US Navy has the most active fleet with eleven aircraft carriers. However, India is set to launch its own aircraft carrier in 2022.

Additionally, fourteen tiny carriers can solely carry helicopters, operated by countries including South Korea (1), Thailand (1), Brazil (1), France (3), Australia (2), Egypt (2), Japan (4), and Brazil (1).

Top 10 Aircraft Carriers in the world:

1. USS Gerald R Ford Class (CVN-78)

USS Gerald R Ford Class (CVN-78)

The US Navy’s Gerald R. Ford Class battleships hold the title of largest aircraft carrier in the world. The four announced carriers in this class are currently being built, with the first, USS Gerald R. Ford, going into service in May 2017.

Currently in service, the Gerald R. Ford measures 337 meters in length and 78 meters in beam. The vessel has a 78-meter flight deck with sophisticated arresting gear and an electromagnetic aircraft launch system, and it can carry a total load displacement of 100,000 tons. The USS Gerald R. Ford has space for 4,539 people and can transport more than 75 aircraft. It has the Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS), Airframe Missiles (RAMS), and RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles. Two nuclear reactors power it.

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2. Nimitz Class, USA

The second-largest aircraft carriers in the world are the ten nuclear-powered Nimitz class aircraft carriers of the US Navy. They are unquestionably among the best breeds and exhibit every quality that these battleships need. In honor of US Pacific Fleet commander Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz from World War II, USS Nimitz, the class’s lead ship, was launched in May 1975, and USS George H.W. Bush, the class’s tenth and last ship, went into service in January 2009.

These 332.8-meter-long aircraft carriers have a 4.5-acre flight deck that can accommodate more than 60 aircraft and a total load displacement of 97,000 tons. These ships, powered by two nuclear reactors and capable of reaching a top speed of over 30 kt, can accommodate 3,000 to 3,200 ship company, 1,500 air wings, and 500 additional crew

In 1968, someone built them and put them into service in 1972. Soon after, someone relaunched them with a nuclear propulsion system as multirole carriers.

3. Queen Elizabeth Class, UK


The third-biggest aircraft carriers in the world are the largest ships of the UK Royal Navy. The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, the largest warships ever constructed for the British Navy, are also the largest non-US Navy warships, surpassed only by Japan’s Yamato-class battleships.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of the two aircraft carriers of the Queen Elizabeth Class in the Royal Navy, was put into service in December 2017, while HMS Prince of Wales was launched in the same month and put into service in December 2019.

Both ships are 280 meters long and have a displacement of about 65,000 tons. The ships have the capacity to board forty fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. They can take off in four Merlin helicopters and thirty-six F-35Bs. These ships have automated systems and the newest technology; a combat operation only needs 679 crew members.

4. Fujian, China

Fujian, China
On June 17, 2022, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation’s Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai launched the country’s third aircraft carrier. After the US, China currently possesses the most aircraft carriers worldwide.

The province that borders Taiwan on the country’s east coast has the name of the aircraft carrier, Fujian.

The new-generation Fujian (Type 003), China’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, is claimed to be more efficient and technologically sophisticated than the country’s other two aircraft carriers.

The other two are the Liaoning (Type 002), a used carrier purchased from Ukraine in 1998, and Shandong (Type 001), which was put into service in 2019.

With a full-load displacement of about 80,000 tons, Fujian can carry more cargo than any previous Chinese carrier and is on par with US Navy aircraft carriers. With a 76 m beam, it is 316 m long.

Additionally, it is the first aircraft carrier in the country to launch aircraft from the deck using an electromagnetic catapult as opposed to the ski ramp that Liaoning and Shandong carriers employed. Moreover, Fujian features a flat-top flight deck for effortless landings and takeoffs.

5. Liaoning, China


The fourth-largest aircraft carrier in the world is the type 001 Liaoning, which is in service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of China. China later acquired the ship during the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. The ship was originally intended as the second Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier for the Soviet Navy. Its whole length is 304.5 meters, and its total beam is 75 meters.

In September 2012, the ship was restored and put into service with PLAN. Liaoning, which is now categorized as a training ship, provides the Navy with a platform to practice, learn, and gain experience with aircraft carrier operations. With a full load displacement of almost 58,000 t, Liaoning is capable of transporting about 50 aircraft, including fixed-wing and helicopter models.

6. Shandong, China


On April 26, 2017, China’s second aircraft carrier, Shandong, was launched. The Shandong is China’s first domestically produced carrier, in contrast to Liaoning.

Both carriers, which are comparable in size, use the STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) system to launch and recover aircraft. But Shandong is China’s premier aircraft carrier because it was built recently and has noticeably more sophisticated equipment and technology.

With a total load displacement of 70,000 tons, the Shandong is 305 meters long and has a 75-meter-beam. On its deck, it can accommodate a maximum of 44 aircraft.

7. Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia


One of the best aircraft carriers in operation right now is the Russian Kuznetsov class carrier. Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, which is currently the Russian Navy’s flagship, is 305 meters long and has a 72-meter beam. It can carry 58,500 tons of cargo at full load. This massively armed vessel is capable of performing multiple roles, such as that of an aircraft carrier, in addition to being outfitted with lethal enough armaments.

Its 14,700m² flight deck accommodates up to 12 helicopters and 33 fixed-wing aircraft. Su-33, MiG-29K, and Su-25UTG/UBP STOVL fighters, as well as Ka-27S, Ka-27LD32, and Ka-27PLO helicopters, may all be accommodated on the aircraft carrier. Admiral Kuznetsov is also able to accommodate 40 flagstaffs, 626 aviation groups, and 1,960 ship companies overseas.

Admiral Kuznetsov will be out of commission for maintenance and refurbishment as of July 2021. It was damaged from the floating dry dock PD-50 in November 2018 by a falling 70-ton crane, which claimed two lives during the refurbishment. An update is scheduled for June 2022.

8. INS Vikrant, India


India designed and built the first aircraft, the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. The Cochin Shipyard Limited was the site of the construction. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in August 2022 after completing its sea testing. The project came to a total cost of about US$3.1 billion.

The ship is 262 meters long and 59 meters wide, with a loaded displacement of about 45,000 tons (Beam). INS Vikramaditya is larger than INS Vikramaditya in terms of size, while INS Vikran is technologically more advanced and can accommodate up to 40 aircraft on its deck.

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9. Charles De Gaulle, France

Charles De Gaulle, France’s first nuclear powered surface ship, has been in service since 2001. Its dimensions are 780 x 103 x 27.8 feet, making it the only nuclear-powered carrier used by a force other than the US Navy.

Despite its 42,500-ton displacement, the battleship can accommodate up to 40 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, including the Rafale M, E-2C Hawkeye, Super √Čtendard, EC725 Caracal, AS532 Cougar, and SA365 Dauphin. With two K17 reactors for propulsion, the aircraft carrier is both stealthy and versatile, reaching a top speed of 27 knots.

With both assaulting and carrying roles, the ship is extremely combating friendly and well-known for its multirole play.

10. INS Vikramaditya, India

The Indian Navy’s largest warship in service, INS Vikramaditya, ranks among the world’s largest aircraft carriers. Modernized Kiev-class aircraft carrier with 61 meters beam and 283.5 meters length entered service in 2013.

served in the Russian Navy under Admiral Gorshkov and the Soviet Navy under Baku, respectively. India bought this battleship in January 2004. INS Vikramaditya has a maximum aircraft capacity of 36, comprising 10 Kamov Ka-31 AEW&C and Kamov Ka-28 ASW helicopters and 26 Mikoyan MiG-29K multirole fighters. The vessel has a displacement of 45,400t.

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