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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Stats Gate - Revealed: These Are The Countries With Most Aircraft Carriers, 2024

Stats Gate

Revealed: These Are The Countries With Most Aircraft Carriers, 2024

USS Nimitz

This report examines the countries with the most aircraft carriers – naval vessels that can accommodate planes for landing and takeoff. The history of aircraft carriers can be traced back to November 1910, when Eugene Ely, an American pilot, made the first landing of a plane on the deck of a US cruiser in Birmingham, Virginia. A few months later, in January 1911, the same pilot successfully landed a plane on the battleship Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay.

Navies of different countries are increasingly acquiring aircraft carriers due to growing territorial and geopolitical disputes across the world. Indo-Pacific has emerged as a global flashpoint, with potential risks of military conflicts breaking out. Consequently, it is expected to be the fastest-growing region in terms of aircraft carrier procurement over the next five to ten years. Countries such as India, China, and South Korea are enhancing their naval arsenal to prepare for possible conflicts.

The United States has the highest number of aircraft carriers among all countries. According to CEOWORLD magazine, the US possesses a fleet of 11 aircraft carriers, which fall under two categories – the Nimitz and Ford classes. Both these categories of warships have a displacement of over 100,000 tonnes. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, operates two aircraft carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, which belong to the Queen Elizabeth class of carriers. These carriers have a displacement capacity of 72,000 tonnes each and are 920 feet long.

China has two aircraft carriers named Liaoning and Shandong, which have a displacement of 60,000 and 70,000 respectively. On the other hand, India also operates two aircraft carriers: INS Vikramaditya, which was decommissioned in 1996 after serving the Soviet and Russian navies and then entered into service of the Indian Navy in 2013, and INS Vikrant, which is India’s locally produced carrier. Both Indian carriers have an estimated displacement of 45,000 tonnes each and are capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft, including helicopters. Additionally, India’s Cochin Shipyard Limited is working on building the country’s third carrier, INS Vishal, which is expected to have a displacement of around 65,000 tonnes.

In 2018, Japan announced its plan to convert two helicopter carriers, Kaga and Izumo, into warships that could accommodate fighter jets like the F-35B. Recently, in October 2021, fighter jets of the U.S. Marines landed on the Izumo carrier, which marked the successful transformation of the platform. The combined displacement of both Izumo and Kaga is approximately 64,200 tonnes.

Currently, the United States leads with a fleet of 11 carriers, followed by China, India, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom with two each. Other nations like Russia, France, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, and Thailand possess one each.

  1. United States – 11
    Active: USS Nimitz, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, USS Carl Vinson, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Abraham Lincoln, USS George Washington, USS John C. Stennis, USS Harry S. Truman, USS Ronald Reagan, USS George H.W. Bush, USS Gerald R. Ford
    Under construction: USS John F. Kennedy, USS Enterprise, USS Doris Miller
    Planned: CVN-82 (ordered), CVN-83 (planned), CVN-84 (planned), CVN-85 (planned), CVN-86 (planned), CVN-87 (planned)
  2. China – 2
    Active: Liaoning and Shandong
    Under construction: Fujian
    Planned: Type 004: a planned nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
  3. India – 2
    Active: INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant
    Planned: INS Vishal: 65,000 ton carrier.
  4. Italy – 2
    Active: Cavour and Giuseppe Garibaldi
    Under construction: Trieste: 32,300 tons carrier.
  5. Japan – 2
    Active: Izumo and Kaga
  6. United Kingdom – 2
    Active: HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales
  7. France – 1
    Active: Charles de Gaulle: nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in service since 2001
    Planned: PANG: a planned nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
  8. Russia – 1
    Active: Admiral Kuznetsov
  9. Spain – 1
    Active: Juan Carlos I : 27,079 tonne STOVL carrier in active service
  10. Turkey – 1
    Active: TCG Anadolu
    Planned: TCG Trakya
  11. Thailand – 1
    Active: HTMS Chakri Naruebet
  12. Brazil – 1
    Active: Atlantico

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Stats Gate - Revealed: These Are The Countries With Most Aircraft Carriers, 2024

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Katherina Davis
Deputy News Editor at CEOWORLD Magazine. Covering money, work, and lifestyle stories. Covering issues of importance to public company nominating and corporate governance committees, including new director recruitment, board evaluations, onboarding, director compensation and overall corporate governance. More recently, I have joined the newsletters team, writing and editing some of the CEOWORLD Magazine's key reader emails.