Naval Firepower Of The Ages
Battleships and Aircraft Carriers

American Aircraft Carriers

Fly by

Aircraft Carriers of the 20th & 21st centuries

U.S. Navy aircraft carriers intended to operate with the main fleet were numbered in the "CV" series, which was originated as part of the cruiser ("C") group of designations.

During and after World War II, ships in the CV series were frequently given modified designations, including CVA (attack aircraft carrier), CVAN (nuclear-powered attack aircraft carrier), CVB (large aircraft carrier), CVL (small aircraft carrier), CVN (nuclear-powered aircraft carrier), CVS (anti-submarine warfare support aircraft carrier) and CVT (training aircraft carrier).

All of these expanded designations were numbered in the original CV series. World War II also generated a separate number series for aircraft carriers that were intended for auxiliary purposes such as escorting convoys, transporting aircraft and other missions which did not require the high speed of the CV series ships. Originally called Aircraft Escort Vessels (AVG), then Auxiliary Aircraft Carriers (ACV), they were finally termed Escort Aircraft Carriers (CVE). During the mid-1950s, many CVEs were redesignated as Escort Helicopter Aircraft Carriers (CVHE) and Utility Aircraft Carriers (CVU). These retained their original CVE series numbers.
From Wikipedia


Auxiliary Aircraft Carriers


Seaplane Tenders


Aircraft Escort Vessels



Light Cruisers


Aircraft Carriers


Attack aircraft carrier


Nuclear-powered attack aircraft carrier


Escort Aircraft Carriers


Escort Helicopter Aircraft Carriers


Small aircraft carrier


Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier


Anti-submarine warfare support aircraft carrier


Training aircraft carrier


Utility Aircraft Carriers


Amphibious assault ship (helicopter)

After 1975, all remaining aircraft carriers were designated as either:
* CV (Multi-mission aircraft carriers)
* CVN (Multi-mission, nuclear powered aircraft carriers)

Hull # 


CV 1

USS Langley

CV 2

USS Lexington

CV 3

USS Saratoga

CV 4

USS Ranger

CV 5

USS Yorktown

CV 6

USS Enterprise

On Dec. 1, 2012 "The Big E" will be become officially inactive.

CV 7

USS Wasp

CV 8

USS Hornet

CV 9

USS Essex

CV 10

USS Yorktown

CV 11

USS Intrepid

CV 12

USS Hornet

CV 13

USS Franklin

CV 14

USS Ticonderoga

CV 15

USS Randolph

CV 16

USS Lexington

CV 17

USS Bunker Hill

CV 18

USS Wasp

CV 19

USS Hancock

CV 20

USS Bennington

CV 21

USS Boxer

CVL 22

USS Independence

CVL 23

USS Princeton

CVL 24

USS Belleau Wood

CVL 25

USS Cowpens

CVL 26

USS Monterey

CVL 27

USS Langley

CVL 28

USS Cabot

CVL 29

USS Bataan

CVL 30

USS San Jacinto

CV 31

USS Bon Homme Richard

CV 32

USS Leyte

CV 33

USS Kearsarge

CV 34

USS Oriskany

CV 35

USS Reprisal

CV 36

USS Antietam

CV 37

USS Princeton

CV 38

USS Shangri-La

CV 39

USS Lake Champlain

CV 40

USS Tarawa

CVB 41

USS Midway

CVB 42

USS Franklin D. Roosevelt

CVB 43

USS Coral Sea

CV 44

Cancelled 1943

CV 45

USS Valley Forge

CV 46

USS Iwo Jima

CV 47

USS Philippine Sea

CVL 48

USS Saipan

CVL 49

USS Wright

CV 50

Cancelled 1945

CV 51

Cancelled 1945

CV 52

Cancelled 1945

CV 53

Cancelled 1945

CV 54

Cancelled 1945

CV 55

Cancelled 1945

CV 56

Cancelled 1945

CV 57

Cancelled 1945

CV 58

USS United States

CVA 59

USS Forrestal

CVA 60

USS Saratoga

CVA 61

USS Ranger

CV 62

USS Independence

CV 63

USS Kitty Hawk

CV 64

USS Constellation

CV 65

USS Enterprise


USS America

CV 67

USS John F Kennedy

CVN 68

USS Nimitz

CVN 69

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

CVN 70

USS Carl Vinson

CVN 71

USS Theodore Roosevelt

CVN 72

USS Abraham Lincoln

CVN 73

USS George Washington

CVN 74

USS John C. Stennis

CVN 75

USS Harry S. Truman

CVN 76

USS Ronald Reagan

CVN 77

USS George H. W. Bush

CVN 78

USS Gerald R. Ford

CVN 79

Construction of this ship (if authorized) would not begin before 2010. In theory, CVN-79 would start to replace the Navy's Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. CVN-79 is programmed to begin construction in 2012 and to be placed in commission in 2018.

On December 7, 2007, the 66th anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor, Congressman Harry Mitchell proposed naming this ship USS Arizona.

CVN 80

CVN 80 is tentatively to be commissioned in 2021.

CVN-80 may replace USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in the fleet.


The Future