Aircraft carriers are the greatest war symbols, and they portray the military power of a country and are floating cities capable of taking the most formidable military missions… But, how many nations have aircraft carriers? Are they equivalent to the Ford-class aircraft carrier?
United States of America
The Royal Navy has 2 aircraft carriers: the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales is the most significant aircraft carrier ever constructed in the UK.
The UK is a great naval power, and like the US, it has had dozens of aircraft carriers in the last century.
China has 2 aircraft carriers, and a third in the pipeline. China is in a modernization process to boost its naval power.
Its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was Soviet-built and updated by China in 2012. In 2019, China launched the Shandong, the first Chinese-built aircraft carrier which is one of the finest aircraft carriers on the globe.
Now, China is constructing a third aircraft carrier that will be an 85,000-ton, 40-plane high-tech feat including an electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS).
The Charles de Gaulle is a nuclear-powered ship and can carry up to 40 aircraft (mostly Rafale aircraft). Additionally, France is already working on building a new aircraft carrier much bigger than the Charles De Gaulle to maintain its navy suitable for the next decades.
Admiral Kuznetsov has been in service since 1990. It has powerful weapons and it is capable of carrying over 50 aircraft. Unfortunately, it’s aging fast, and it’s expected to stay in service only until 2025.
Italy has 2 aircraft carriers, the Cavour and Garibaldi. The Cavour is the most sophisticated aircraft carrier, and it can carry up to 12 helicopters or 8 aircraft.
The Garibaldi was the symbol of the Italian Navy until 2012 when the Cavour was ready to serve. It reaches a speed of 30 knots, a range of 7,000 miles, and can board up to 18 aircraft.
The INS Vikramaditya can carry up to 30 aircraft. A second aircraft carrier, the Vikrant (IAC-I) will be apt for carrying up to 40 modern aircraft.
Japan has four aircraft carriers. However, they aren’t advanced, and they only carry helicopters: Izumo, Kaga, Hyūga, and Ise… And each can carry up to 10 helicopters.
South Korea has 2 aircraft carriers serving as helicopter carriers, the Dokdo and Marado. South Korea is growing its fleet, and they revealed that a new aircraft carrier is under construction, and it’s expected to be ready in 2033.
The Chakri Naruebet is the aircraft carrier of Thailand, and it’s one of the smallest aircraft carriers in the world. Today, it’s barely operational, and it works just one day per month.
Turkey has one aircraft carrier, the Anadolu. A hybrid amphibious/light aircraft carrier provided with a “ski-jump” ramp and the ability to launch amphibious landing crafts.
Atlántico is an amphibious vessel with limited capacities as a floating helicopter platform that can take up to 6 Apache helicopters.
To be a military superpower, at least one aircraft carrier is required. Some countries like the US, UK, and Japan have had dozens of aircraft carriers, and some countries like China are expected to build modern aircraft carriers in the next future. But the US is the leading military power with 11 top-notch aircraft carriers.
Featured image credit: Aircraft carrier transits through persian gulf by U.S. Navy. Public Domain.