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Aircraft carriers

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Wars and warfare

Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier

The Queen Elizabeth class is a class of two aircraft carriers of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. The lead ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was named on 4 July 2014, in honour of Queen Elizabeth, a renowned World War I era super-dreadnought, which in turn was named for Elizabeth I. She was commissioned on 7 December 2017, with an initial operating capability expected in 2018. The second, HMS Prince of Wales, was launched on 21 December 2017, and is planned to be commissioned in 2020. At the NATO 2014 Wales summit, the Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the second carrier would be brought into service, ending years of uncertainty surrounding its future. This was confirmed by the November 2015 Government Strategic Defence Review, with both carriers entering service, one being available at any time.

Wars and warfare

INS Vikrant (2013)

INS Vikrant (IAC-I) is the first aircraft carrier built in India and the first Vikrant-class aircraft carrier built by Cochin Shipyard (CSL) in Kochi, Kerala for the Indian Navy. The motto of the ship is Jayema Sam Yudhi Sprdhah, which is taken from Rigveda 1.8.3 and can be translated as "I defeat those who fight against me".

Wars and warfare

HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08)

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth class of aircraft carriers, the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom and capable of carrying up to 60 aircraft. She is named in honour of the first Queen Elizabeth, a renowned World War I era super-dreadnought, which in turn was named after Queen Elizabeth I. The new Queen Elizabeth will carry her namesake's honours, as well as her Tudor rose-adorned crest and motto.

Wars and warfare

Essex-class aircraft carrier

The Essex class was a class of aircraft carriers of the United States Navy that constituted the 20th century's most numerous class of capital ships. The class consisted of 24 vessels, which came in "short-hull" and "long-hull" versions. Thirty-two ships were originally ordered, but as World War II wound down, six were canceled before construction, and two were canceled after construction had begun. No Essex-class ships were lost to enemy action, despite several vessels sustaining very heavy damage. The Essex-class carriers were the backbone of the U.S. Navy's combat strength during World War II from mid-1943 on, and, along with the addition of the three Midway-class carriers just after the war, continued to be the heart of U.S. naval strength until the supercarriers began to come into the fleet in numbers during the 1960s and 1970s.

Wars and warfare

USS Enterprise (CV-6)

USS Enterprise (CV-6) was the seventh U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name. Colloquially called "the Big E", she was the sixth aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. A Yorktown-class carrier, she was launched in 1936 and was one of only three American carriers commissioned before World War II to survive the war. She participated in more major actions of the war against Japan than any other United States ship. These actions included the Attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, various other air-sea engagements during the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Enterprise earned 20 battle stars, the most for any U.S. warship in World War II, and was the most decorated U.S. ship of World War II. She is also the first American ship to sink an enemy vessel during the Pacific War when she sank Japanese submarine I-70 on 10 December 1941. On three occasions during the Pacific War, the Japanese announced that she had been sunk in battle, inspiring her nickname "The Grey Ghost".

Architecture, Wars and warfare

USS Midway (CV-41)

USS Midway (CVB/CVA/CV-41) was an aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, the lead ship of her class. Commissioned a week after the end of World War II, Midway was the largest ship in the world until 1955, as well as the first U.S. aircraft carrier too big to transit the Panama Canal. She operated for 47 years, during which time she saw action in the Vietnam War and served as the Persian Gulf flagship in 1991's Operation Desert Storm. Decommissioned in 1992, she is now a museum ship at the USS Midway Museum, in San Diego, California, and the only remaining U.S. aircraft carrier commissioned right after World War II ended that was not an Essex-class aircraft carrier.

Wars and warfare

Yamato-class battleship

The Yamato-class battleships were battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) constructed and operated during World War II. Displacing 72,000 long tons (73,000 t) at full load, the vessels were the heaviest battleships ever constructed. The class carried the largest naval artillery ever fitted to a warship, nine 460-millimetre naval guns, each capable of firing 1,460 kg (3,220 lb) shells over 42 km (26 mi). Two battleships of the class were completed, while a third (Shinano) was converted to an aircraft carrier during construction.

Wars and warfare

USS Wasp (CV-7)

USS Wasp (CV-7) was a United States Navy aircraft carrier commissioned in 1940 and lost in action in 1942. She was the eighth ship named USS Wasp, and the sole ship of a class built to use up the remaining tonnage allowed to the U.S. for aircraft carriers under the treaties of the time. As a reduced-size version of the Yorktown-class aircraft carrier hull, Wasp was more vulnerable than other United States aircraft carriers available at the opening of hostilities. Wasp was initially employed in the Atlantic campaign, where Axis naval forces were perceived as less capable of inflicting decisive damage. After supporting the occupation of Iceland in 1941, Wasp joined the British Home Fleet in April 1942 and twice ferried British fighter aircraft to Malta. Wasp was then transferred to the Pacific in June 1942 to replace losses at the battles of Coral Sea and Midway. After supporting the invasion of Guadalcanal, Wasp was sunk by the Japanese submarine I-19 on 15 September 1942.

Architecture, Wars and warfare

USS Yorktown (CV-10)

USS Yorktown (CV/CVA/CVS-10) is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. She is named after the Battle of Yorktown of the American Revolutionary War, and is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. Initially to have been named Bonhomme Richard, she was renamed Yorktown while under construction to commemorate USS Yorktown (CV-5), lost at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. Yorktown was commissioned in April 1943, and participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning 11 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation.

Wars and warfare

Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano

Shinano (信濃), was an aircraft carrier built by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during World War II, the largest such built up to that time. Laid down in May 1940 as the third of the Yamato-class battleships, Shinano's partially complete hull was ordered to be converted to a carrier following Japan's disastrous loss of four fleet carriers at the Battle of Midway in mid-1942. Her conversion was still not finished in November 1944 when she was ordered to sail from the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal to Kure Naval Base to complete fitting out and transfer a load of 50 Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka rocket-propelled kamikaze flying bombs. Hastily dispatched, she had an inexperienced crew and serious design and construction flaws, lacked adequate pumps and fire-control systems, and did not carry a single aircraft. She was sunk en route, 10 days after commissioning, on 29 November 1944, by four torpedoes from the U.S. Navy submarine Archerfish. Over a thousand sailors and civilians were rescued and 1,435 were lost, including her captain. She remains the largest warship ever sunk by a submarine.

Wars and warfare

USS Nimitz

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is a supercarrier of the United States Navy, and the lead ship of her class. One of the largest warships in the world, she was laid down, launched and commissioned as CVAN-68 but was later redesignated CVN-68 on 30 June 1975 as part of the fleet realignment.

Wars and warfare

USS Hornet (CV-8)

USS Hornet (CV-8), the seventh ship to carry the name Hornet, was a Yorktown-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. During World War II in the Pacific Theater, she launched the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and participated in the Battle of Midway and the Buin-Faisi-Tonolai Raid. In the Solomon Islands campaign, she was involved in the capture and defense of Guadalcanal and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands where she was irreparably damaged by enemy torpedo and dive bombers. Faced with an approaching Japanese surface force, Hornet was abandoned and later torpedoed and sunk by approaching Japanese destroyers. Hornet was in service for a year and six days and was the last US fleet carrier ever sunk by enemy fire. For these actions, she was awarded four service stars, a citation for the Doolittle Raid in 1942, and her Torpedo Squadron 8 received a Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism for the Battle of Midway. Her wreck was located in late January 2019.

Wars and warfare

Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga

Kaga (加賀) was an aircraft carrier built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and was named after the former Kaga Province in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture. Originally intended to be one of two Tosa-class battleships, Kaga was converted under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty to an aircraft carrier as the replacement for the battlecruiser Amagi, which had been damaged during the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake. Kaga was rebuilt in 1933–35, increasing her top speed, improving her exhaust systems, and adapting her flight decks to more modern, heavier aircraft.

Architecture, Wars and warfare

USS Lexington (CV-16)

USS Lexington (CV/CVA/CVS/CVT/AVT-16), nicknamed "The Blue Ghost", is an Essex-class aircraft carrier built during World War II for the United States Navy. Originally intended to be named Cabot, word arrived during construction that USS Lexington (CV-2) had been lost in the Battle of the Coral Sea. The new aircraft carrier was renamed while under construction to commemorate the earlier ship

Wars and warfare

USS Intrepid (CV-11)

USS Intrepid (CV/CVA/CVS-11), also known as The Fighting "I", is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. She is the fourth US Navy ship to bear the name. Commissioned in August 1943, Intrepid participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, most notably the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, she was modernized and recommissioned in the early 1950s as an attack carrier (CVA), and then eventually became an antisubmarine carrier (CVS). In her second career, she served mainly in the Atlantic, but also participated in the Vietnam War. Her notable achievements include being the recovery ship for a Mercury and a Gemini space mission. Because of her prominent role in battle, she was nicknamed "the Fighting I", while her frequent bad luck and time spent in dry dock for repairs—she was torpedoed once and hit by four separate Japanese kamikaze aircraft—earned her the nicknames "Decrepit" and "the Dry I". Decommissioned in 1974, in 1982 Intrepid became the foundation of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.