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Top 10 Biggest Aircraft Carriers In The World

Aircraft carriers have been known since the dawn of world war II, and have come to become one of, if not, the most lethal weaponry a nation could ever own. The Gerald R Ford Class which is operated the United States Naval force is the world’s biggest air aircraft carrier. The other three world biggest aircraft carrier is operated by Asian Naval forces.

Today we are gonna be seeing the Top Ten Biggest aircraft carriers and the countries that own them.

10. INS Viraat, India

Coming in at the tenth place in our list is the INS Viraat (R22) aircraft carrier, a Centaur-Class aircraft carrier operated by the Indian Navy. The INS Viraat is also the oldest aircraft carrier and is currently serving as the Indian Navy’s flagship. It was originally commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Hermes in 1959 and sold to India in 1986.

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The INS Viraat comes with a full load displacement of 28,700t and carries up to 30 fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, such as Sea Harrier, Westland Sea King, and HAL Dhruv. It carries a crew of 1,350 together with 43 officers.

9. Cavour (550), Italy

The Cavour (550) has a full load displacement of 30,000t and makes the number ninth biggest aircraft carrier on our list.

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The Cavour’s flight deck is big enough to accommodate a fixed-wing aircraft such as the JSF or the AV-8B Harrier. The Cavour is capable of accommodating 1,292 crew, including troops.

8. São Paulo (A12), Brazil

São Paulo (A12) is the eighth biggest aircraft carrier, and it weighs a massive weighing 32,000t at full load. The São Paulo aircraft carrier which is operated by the Brazilian Navy is a Clemenceau-Class aircraft carrier.

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The São Paulo has a crew capacity of 1,920, including 1,338 ship’s company and 582 Air Group crew. The São Paulo’s flight deck is capable of accommodating 39 aircraft including fighters, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

7. Charles de Gaulle (R91), France

The Charles de Gaulle (R91) aircraft carrier is a nuclear-powered surface ship and is also the largest ship in all of Western Europe

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The Charles de Gaulle is capable of supporting 40 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters including Rafale M, Super Étendard, E-2C Hawkeye, SA365 Dauphin, EC725 Caracal, and AS532 Cougar. The vessel carries 1,350 crew members and 600 air wing.

6. INS Vikramaditya, India

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The INS Vikramaditya which was commissioned into service in the year 2013 is the biggest warship still in service under the Indian Navy control. The flight deck of the massive ship can accommodate 30 air-crafts including a MiG 29K/Sea Harrier and a Sea King.

5. Liaoning, China

Hong Kong-based Chong Lot Travel Agency bought Liaoning at an auction in 1998 with the idea of converting it into a floating casino but never completed the conversion. The uncompleted ship was moved to Ukraine after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The ship was then acquired by China and used as an aircraft carrier for PLAN.

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This monster is capable of holding over 50 aircraft which includes fixed-wing planes and even choppers. It also comes with some serious firepower like a Type 1030 CIWS and HQ-10 missiles.

4. Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia

This is the only remaining operational aircraft carrier in the Russian Navy. The aircraft carrier was built by Nikolayev South shipyard, Kuznetsov holds the spot as the fourth largest aircraft carrier in the world. It has a full load displacement of 58,500t.


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The very spacious carrier has a 14,700m² flight deck that capable of accommodating Su-33, MiG-29K and Su-25UTG/UBP STOVL fighter jets, alongside a Ka-27S, Ka-27LD32, and Ka-27PLO helicopters. It carries 1,960 ship company, 626 air group and 40 flagstaffs.

The massive carrier which runs on steam turbines capable of providing speeds of up to 32kt, comes with weaponry composed of CADS-N-1 Kashtan CIWS, P-700 Granit anti-ship cruise missile, RBU-12000 UDAV-1 ASW rocket launchers, and AK-630 AA guns.

3. Queen Elizabeth Class, UK

These aircraft carriers are the biggest battleships the Royal Navy has ever built. HMS Queen Elizabeth is the first vessel in class, it began it sail in June of 2017 and is said to go into service in 2020. The second and carrier HMS Prince of Wales is said to go into service in 2023.

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The carriers are large enough to carry up to 40 rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. Every single one of the carriers in this class comes armed with Phalanx CIWS, 30mm guns and mini-guns. The aircraft carrier runs on two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines alongside four diesel generators which together gives an installed power of 109MWe.

2. Nimitz Class, US

Nimitz Class comes with a full load displacement of 97,000t, and is, of course, the world’s second-largest aircraft carrier. Each carrier of the Nimitz Class is usually designed to operate for about 50 years, and also gets one mid-life overhaul.

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It has a flight deck that spans 4.5-acres and can hold over 60 aircraft. The ships which are all 20 stories high above water holds 3,000 ship company, 1,500 air wing, and 500 other crew.

Nimitz Class runs on double nuclear reactors which together provide speeds of over 30kt. It also comes armed with Sea Sparrow missiles, Phalanx close-in weapon system, and Rolling Airframe missiles which are mounted on deck. The ships in the Nimitz class are said to be replaced by 2020 by Gerald R. Ford Class (CVN 78) next-generation aircraft carriers.

1. Gerald R Ford Class, US

Coming with a full load displacement of 100,000t, the Gerald R Ford Class is the world’s biggest aircraft carrier. The first carrier in the class, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), was delivered to the US Navy in May 2017.

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The flight deck comes with an electromagnetic aircraft launch system with state of the art arresting gear. The carrier is large enough to hold up to 75 aircraft and hold a massive 4,539 personnel along with the ship’s company, air wing, and support staff.

The Gerald R Ford runs on two A1B nuclear reactors that provide 250% more electrical capacity than the Nimitz Class. Its arsenal holds RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles, Rolling Air-frame Missiles (RAMs) and Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS).

So there you have it, the top ten largest air-craft carriers in the world. If you’ve got any suggestions or think there is a carrier missing in the list, feel free to let us know down in the comment section. Also check out:

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