13 Countries With Aircraft Carriers in 2023

countries with aircraft carriers

Want to know about countries with aircraft carriers and how many they own? Then this article is for you.

An aircraft carrier is a warship that functions as a mobile seaborne airfield.

They are primarily designed to manage combat operations by carrier-based aircraft which engage in attacks against the surface, sub-surface, airborne, and shore targets.

The aircraft carrier is a symbol of power and prestige for navies across the world.

Ever since the creation of aircraft carriers, it has made an immense difference in the defense system of several countries.

Although they are expensive to build, they are one of the biggest assets to the warfare merchandise of nations.

These giant aircraft carriers have developed from converter cruisers to nuclear-powered warships and are equipped with a full-length flight deck able to carry, arm, deploy, and recover aircraft.

One goal of aircraft carriers is to serve as starting and landing spot for all aircraft.

They act as the captainship of a naval fleet on a waterfront and can carry numerous aircraft such as fighters, strike aircraft, and helicopters.

They are classified according to the type of aircraft they carry and their operational assignment.

Below is a list of some remarkable aircraft carriers currently in service across the world.

1. Brazil

NAM Atlântico

NAM Atlântico is the current flagship of the Brazillian Navy; it was initially built in the United Kingdom for service with the Royal Navy. It was first commissioned on 30 September 1998 as HMS Ocean, served, and then decommissioned on 27 March 2018.

The Brazilian Navy purchased the aircraft carrier in December 2017 and commissioned this multi-purpose aircraft carrier on 29 June 2018. This 203.43 long vessel has a full load displacement of 21,578 tonnes.

2. South Korea

Dokdo

The Dokdo-Class amphibious assault ship is a class of landing platform operated by the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN). The warfare ship is 199 meters long, 31 meters wide, with a total load displacement of 19,000 tonnes.

It can also attain a maximum speed of 23 knots. Thus, it is said to be one of the most advanced vessels in the Asian Pacific.

3. Australia

Canberra-class

The Canberra-class is the first ship in the class of two landing helicopter dock ships constructed for the Royal Australian Navy. It was launched in 2011 and commissioned in November 2014.

The features of the Canberra-class vessel include

  • 230.82 meters in length
  • a maximum beam of 32 meters
  • a full load displacement of 27,500 tonnes
  • can attain a top speed of 20 knots
  • It has a flight deck of 202.3 by 32 meters
  • can house eight medium-sized helicopters.

HMAS Adelaide-class

HMAS Adelaide is the second of the two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The ship was launched on 4 July 2012 and was commissioned in December 2015.

This 230.82 meters ship has a full load displacement of 27,500 tonnes and can attain a maximum speed of 20 knots.

4. Egypt

Gamal Abdel Nasser

Gamal Abdel Nasser is an Egyptian Navy amphibious assault ship, a type of helicopter carrier under the French-designed Mistral class. Initially, it was constructed for the Russian Navy and went through sea trials.

This aircraft carrier was acquired by Egypt from Russian on 23 September 2015 and commissioned on 2 June 2016. The 200 meters ship has a full load displacement of 21,300 tonnes. It can also attain a maximum speed of 18.8 knots.

Anwar El Sadat

ENS Anwar El Sadat is the second of the Egyptian Navy amphibious assault ship and was commissioned on 16 September 2016.

In October 2016, this vessel took part in the military exercises jointly conducted by the Egyptian and French navies in the Mediterranean Sea. The exercises included activities such as force planning and managing naval combat missions.

According to Wikipedia, Egypt is the first and only country in Africa and the Middle East to join the list of countries with aircraft carriers.

5. Japan

Izumo-class

The Izumo-class multi-purpose destroyers are aircraft carriers in service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). These 248 meters have a full load displacement of 27,000 tonnes and can attain a maximum speed of 30 knots.

This aircraft carrier was launched on 6 August 2013 and commissioned on 25 March 2015.

Kaga

Kaga was constructed for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). It was launched on 27 August 2015 and commissioned on 22 March 2017. This 248 meters aircraft carrier has a full load displacement of 27,000 tonnes and can attain a maximum speed of 30 knots.

Other aircraft under the Japanese Navy include:

  • Hyūga
  • Ise

6. United States of America

USS America

The US is one of the top countries with aircraft carriers as it has over 10 carries in it’s fleet. The US Navy’s amphibious assault ship USS America aircraft carrier was commissioned in October 2014.

USS America is the first warship in the America class. It is assigned to be the flagship of an amphibious ready group of the US Navy.

This vessel has a displacement of 45,000tons and is designed to carry helicopters. V/STOL aircraft can carry out the duties of big aircraft carriers when configured with 20F-35B strike fighters.

The design of this 844ft longship is based on that of the wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island and features a hybrid-electric propulsion system.

Gerald R Ford-class

The US Navy’s Gerald R Ford-class battleship is the world’s biggest aircraft carrier. It was commissioned in May 2017 but commenced operation in 2020. It possesses a 78m wide flight deck characterized by an electromagnetic aircraft launch system and advanced arresting gear.

The USS Gerald R Ford can carry over 75 aircraft and can accommodate a total of 4,539 persons. It has a full load displacement of 100,00 tonnes.

Nimitz class

The US Navy’s ten Nimitz class is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the second-largest in the world.

It was named after the World War II US pacific Fleet commander fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz is the lead ship of the class USS Nimitz, and it commenced operation in May 1975. It features a total load displacement of 97,000t.

This 332.8m long aircraft carrier possesses a 4.5-acre flight deck with the ability to carry over 60 aircraft.

The US Navy’s ten Nimitz class can accommodate 3,000 to 3,200 ship’s company, 1,500 air wings, and 500 other crew. They are powered by two nuclear reactors and reach a speed of over 30kt.

Other aircraft carriers under the US Navy include:

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • John C. Stennis
  • George Washington
  • George H.W. Bush
  • Carl Vinson
  • Harry S. Truman
  • Abraham Lincoln

7. the United Kingdom.

Queen Elizabeth Class

The largest aircraft carriers of the UK Royal Navy are the third-largest in the world. They are the biggest warships ever built for the British Navy and the second-largest non-US Navy warship after Japan’s Yamato-class battleships.

The Queen Elizabeth class was commissioned in December 2017. This vessel has a full load displacement of about 65,000 tonnes and a length of 280 meters.

The Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier features the latest technology and automated system aboard, plus it only needs a crew of 679 for a combat operation.

Prince Of Wales

Prince of Wales is another large aircraft carrier of the UK Royal Navy; it was launched in December 2017 and commissioned in December 2019. This vessel has a total load displacement of about 65,000 tonnes and a length of 280 meters.

It also features the latest technology and automated system aboard.

8. Russia

Admiral Kuznetsov

Russia’s Kuznetsov class aircraft carrier is also one of the best aircraft carriers currently in service. The 305m long aircraft carrier features a full load displacement of 58,500t.

Alongside its multi-role capacity, this heavily armed vessel can serve as an aircraft carrier aside from being attached with armament that makes it deadly.

It possesses a 14,700m flight deck facility and able to accommodate the following fighters and helicopters:

  • Su-33
  • MiG-29K
  • Su-25UTG/UBP STOVL
  • Ka-27S
  • Ka-27LD32
  • Ka-27PLO

This aircraft can also accommodate 1,960 ships company, 626 air groups, and 40 flagstaffs abroad.

9. China

Liaoning

China is also on the list of countries with aircraft carriers with one active carrier. This is the only aircraft carrier currently in service with China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

The aircraft carrier Liaoning is the fifth largest aircraft carrier in the world. At first, it was planned as the second Kuznetsov class aircraft for the Soviet Navy; China later acquired it after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.

The ship was then rebuilt and commissioned for PLAN in September 2012. It is currently identified as a training ship, plus it offers an environment for the Navy to experiment, train, and be acquainted with aircraft carrier operations.

It has a full load displacement of more than 58,000t. Liaoning can carry 50 aircraft, including fixed-wing planes and helicopters. 

Shandong

Shandong aircraft carrier was commissioned on 17 December 2019. This 315m long aircraft carrier features a full load displacement of 70,000 tonnes.

Hainan

This aircraft carrier was commissioned on 23 April 2021; this 237 meters long aircraft carrier features a load displacement of 35,000 tonnes.

10. India

INS Vikramaditya India

INS Vikramaditya is India’s largest Navy warship in service, and it’s among the biggest aircraft carriers in the world. The 283.5m modified Kiev class aircraft carrier started operation in 2013.

India purchased this warship in January 2004. It has a full load displacement of 45,400 tons and can carry a maximum of 36 aircraft, 10 Ka-31AEW&C, 26 Mikoyan MiG-29K multi-role fighters, and Kamov Ka-28ASW helicopters inclusive.

11. France

Charles De Gaulle

Charles De Gaulle is France’s first nuclear-powered surface ship and one of its most important flight carriers. It has been in operation since 2001.

This warship has a full load displacement of 36,000 tons with a 780X103X27.8 feet structure, and it is the only nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in operation with the Navy asides from the US Navy.

This aircraft carrier can carry 40 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters with EC725 Caracal, SA365 Dauphin, Rafale M, Super Ètendard, AS532 Cougar, and E-2c Hawkeye inclusive. It was designed to display stealth and versatility.

In addition, this ship is highly combatting friendly, with both an assaulting and carrying role. It has two K17 reactors for propulsion and can also attain a speed of 27 knots max.

Mistral

Mistral aircraft carrier is French’s second surface ship and one of France’s most important aircraft carriers. It was commissioned in February 2006 with a full load displacement of 21,300 tonnes with a 653 feet structure.

Tonnerre

This is another French aircraft carrier that was commissioned in December 2006. This 199 meters aircraft carrier has a full load displacement of 21,300 tonnes.

Dixmude

Dixmude aircraft carrier was commissioned on 27 December 2012, with a full load displacement of 21,300 tonnes.

12. Spain

Juan Carlos I

Spain entered the list of countries with aircraft carriers with the Juan Carlos I. Juan Carlos I, the Spanish Navy’s multi-purpose amphibious assault ship aircraft carrier, was the first vessel with the Navy to use diesel-electric propulsion.

This vessel was commissioned on 30 September 2010, with a total load displacement of 26,000 tonnes and a flight deck of 202metres, which features a ski-jump ramp. This aircraft carrier has dimensions of about 757.3X105X23 feet and can attain a speed of 21 knots max.

This vessel was named after the former Spanish king, and it can accommodate CH-47 Chinook/V-22 Osprey, Harrier, F-35 Lightning II, and McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II/Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II.

It also can carry 900 naval personnel, together with equipment and support elements for 1,200 soldiers. Juan Carlos’s aircraft carrier is highly versatile and a valuable asset for the Spanish army.

13. Italy

Cavour

The Cavour aircraft carrier of the Italian Navy has a load displacement of 30,000 tonnes, a 232.6m x 34.5m flight deck, and features several defense systems such as a short-range defense system, guns, and decoy launchers.

The Cavour aircraft carrier can house fixed-wing aircraft such as NH90, AV-8B Harrier and JSF, SH3D, EH101, and AB212 helicopters. The 2444 meter aircraft carrier can also hold up to 24 main battle tanks; it has a speed of 16 knots max, obtained with the help of six diesel generators.

Giuseppe Garibaldi

Giuseppe Garibaldi, the aircraft carrier of the Italian Navy, has a load displacement of 13,850 tonnes and an 80m wide flight deck. It was commissioned on 30 September 1985.

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