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    Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers

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    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    • Lords of the Seas: The World's Most Impressive Aircraft Carriers
    © REUTERS / Yonhap
    The USS Carl Vinson, the United States Navy's third Nimitz-class supercarrier, was laid down in 1975; it was launched 1980 and commissioned two years later. The ship was named after a congressman from Georgia, in recognition of his contributions to the US Navy. Since 2009, it has been the flagship the US Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 1. In addition to its rich operational history, the ship was also featured in the 2001 film “Behind Enemy Lines” starring Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman.

    In an attempt to increase the size and strength of naval forces, modern navies build their own carriers or purchase them from other countries. Take a closer look at aircraft carriers in service with the naval forces of different countries.

    Typically, an aircraft carrier is the capital ship of a fleet. It allows a naval force to project air power worldwide without depending on local bases for staging aircraft operations.

    Since their inception in the early 20th century, carriers have evolved from wooden vessels used to deploy balloons to expensive nuclear-powered warships that carry numerous fighter planes, helicopters and other types of aircraft.

    As long as there is no single definition, several types of vessels are defined as aircraft carriers, including supercarriers (the largest aircraft carriers), amphibious assault ships (employed to land and support ground forces on enemy territory by an amphibious assault) and helicopter carriers.

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