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19 Photos Proving The US’s Aircraft Carriers Are The Ultimate Weapon

us aircraft carrier

Costing billions of dollars and capable of ferrying thousands of US service members and dozens of aircraft at a time, the US’s aircraft carriers are the ultimate modern weapon.

Carriers allow the US to project its power far around the world in locations that may otherwise be hostile. Serving as floating and movable slices of essentially American territory, carriers truly make the US the world’s superpower.

In honor of the anniversary of the first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley, here are some of our favorite shots of the US’s supercarriers:

The US’s first aircraft carrier was the USS Langley, which was converted from a collier to an aircraft carrier in 1920.

The US's first aircraft carrier was the USS Langley, which was converted from a collier to an aircraft carrier in 1920.

Department of Defense/Department of the Navy/Naval Photographic Center

Aircraft-carrier technology made quick strides, with the US launching the USS Enterprise in 1936. The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise making 20 knots during post-overhaul trials in Puget Sound, Washington, on 13 September 1945.

Aircraft-carrier technology made quick strides, with the US launching the USS Enterprise in 1936. The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise making 20 knots during post-overhaul trials in Puget Sound, Washington, on 13 September 1945.

US Navy

During and immediately after World War II, aircraft carriers continued to increase in size, onboard technology, and capacity.

During and immediately after World War II, aircraft carriers continued to increase in size, onboard technology, and capacity.

US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class John Grandin

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Strait of Hormuz.

The first of the “supercarrier” classes were introduced during the Cold War.

The first of the "supercarrier" classes were introduced during the Cold War.

US Navy

USS Nimitz (CVN-68), a US Navy aircraft supercarrier.

The US has 10 Nimitz-class supercarriers.

The US has 10 Nimitz-class supercarriers.

US Navy/Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class H. Dwain Willis

At sea aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Jan. 25, 2003 — F/A 18 “Hornet” strike fighter aircraft line up for catapult launches from the ship’s flight deck.

And the US is planning on acquiring and deploying three additional Ford-class supercarriers.

And the US is planning on acquiring and deploying three additional Ford-class supercarriers.

US Navy/Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Elizabeth Thompson

USS Ronald Reagan traveling through the Straits of Magellan, to San Diego, CA, in a transfer move.

The Ford-class will be the next step up from the current Nimitz-class.

The Ford-class will be the next step up from the current Nimitz-class.

US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ricardo R. Guzman

The US Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) transits the Pacific Ocean during a routine patrol.

Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing 11 perform a fly-by performance for Sailors and their family members on a tiger cruise aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush transits the Atlantic Ocean while conducting a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) on November 24, 2013. COMPTUEX is a scenario-driven exercise aimed at integrating the ships of the George H.W. Bush Strike Group through a series of live training events.

The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush transits the Atlantic Ocean while conducting a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) on November 24, 2013. COMPTUEX is a scenario-driven exercise aimed at integrating the ships of the George H.W. Bush Strike Group through a series of live training events.

US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brian Stephens

The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis launches aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 9. The ships comprising the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group are participating in a group sail exercise designed to develop coordinated capabilities.

The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis launches aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 9. The ships comprising the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group are participating in a group sail exercise designed to develop coordinated capabilities.

US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Frost

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington conducts a vertical replenishment at sea in the U.S.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington conducts a vertical replenishment at sea in the U.S.

US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Declan Barnes

An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant joint strike fighter is prepared for launch aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant joint strike fighter is prepared for launch aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brett Cote

An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the Chargers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 14 performs plane guard operations near the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the Chargers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 14 performs plane guard operations near the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Martino

Two F/A-18E Super Hornets from the Tophatters of Strike Fighter Squadron 14 participate in an air power demonstration over the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

Two F/A-18E Super Hornets from the Tophatters of Strike Fighter Squadron 14 participate in an air power demonstration over the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Ignacio D. Perez

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson departs San Francisco after participating in San Francisco Fleet Week.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson departs San Francisco after participating in San Francisco Fleet Week.

US Navy/Lt.j.g. Pete Lee

An F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron 147, launches off the the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

An F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron 147, launches off the the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Lauren K. Jennings

Lt. Chris Denton, a shooter aboard the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington, gives the signal to launch an E/A-18G Growler from the Shadowhawks of Electronic Attack Squadron 141 during carrier qualifications.

Lt. Chris Denton, a shooter aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington, gives the signal to launch an E/A-18G Growler from the Shadowhawks of Electronic Attack Squadron 141 during carrier qualifications.

US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Chris Cavagnaro

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) leads the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) during a passing exercise with Indian navy ships during Exercise Malabar 2012.

A Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator flies over the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush after successfully completing a catapult launch.

A Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator flies over the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush after successfully completing a catapult launch.

 

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