5 Worst Aircraft Carriers of All Time

DefenceXP Author / 06 December 2019

Hello Defence Lovers, An aircraft carrier is a warship that serves as a seagoing airbase, equipped with a full-length flight deck and facilities for carrying, arming, deploying, and recovering aircraft. As of December 2019, there are 41 active aircraft carriers in the world operated by thirteen navies. Aircraft carriers come in many shapes and sizes: some carry large aircraft fleets of fighters and electronic attack planes, some only carry helicopters; some are nuclear powered, some are fueled by gas; some have vertical take-off and landing, some have short take-off and vertical landing, some have catapult assisted take-off and arrested recovery, where a tail hook snags a cable to catch the plane on landing.

 The United States Navy has 11 large nuclear-powered fleet carriers—carrying around 80 fighter jets each—the largest carriers in the world; the total combined deckspace is over twice that of all other nations combined .China, France, India, Russia, and the United Kingdom each operate a single large/medium-size carrier, with capacity from 30 to 60 fighter jets. Italy operates two light fleet carriers and Spain operates one. Helicopter carriers are operated by Japan (4), France (3), Australia (2), Egypt (2), Brazil (1), South Korea (1), and Thailand (1). Future aircraft carriers are under construction or in planning by Brazil, China, India, Russia, the UK, and the US. But with this article we will talk about 5 Worst Aircraft Carriers of all time which have a history of breaking down or limitations on the missions that these ships were built to perform.

Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov 

  • The first and only true aircraft carrier completed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Kuznetsov was a follow-on to the Kiev-class carriers. Construction on the ship began in 1981 at the Nikolayev Shipyard, now in modern-day Ukraine. Kuznetsov was commissioned in 1990, in the dying days of the Soviet Union, and was inherited by Russia.
  • The carrier was neglected in the early 90s due to a lack of funds and underwent a long refit from 1996 to 1998. Between 1991 and 2015, she completed only six patrols at sea.
  • The Kuznetsov is a Kiev-class carrier that is currently undergoing repairs and won't be ready for service until 2021.
  • In October 2016, the Kuznetsov was sailing to Syria through the English Channel on a combat deployment when it was spotted belching thick clouds of black smoke.
  • "The main problem with the ship is that is has a very problematic propulsion system," Dmitry Gorenburg, a senior research scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses, previously told Business Insider. "It's just unreliable."

China's Liaoning (16)

  • Commissioned in 2012, the Liaoning is a Kiev-class aircraft carrier that Beijing tricked Ukraine into selling by sending a Hong Kong businessman to purchase it under the guise of it being used as a casino in 1998. 
  • The Liaoning was later commissioned in 2012, becoming China's first aircraft carrier.
  • But just a few years later, the Liaoning was spewing steam and losing power, and in at least one incident, a steam explosion blew out the ship's electrical power system.
  • Since then, the Liaoning has been rather unreliable, like most Soviet Kiev-class carriers, and used mostly as a training carrier.

Chakri Naruebet:

  • Although now an increasingly crowded field, for decades the only aircraft carrier native to East Asia (excluding the 7th Fleet) belonged to Thailand. HTMS Chakri Naruebet is a light carrier in the traditional sense, a flexible platform for missions spanning from sea control to disaster relief.

  • Commissioned in 1997, the Chakri Naruebet was once a fleet carrier, but was later relegated to a helicopter carrier in 2006, mostly because of budgetary issues.
  • Although the Chakri Naruebet was used after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsnuami and in rescue operations after flooding in Thailand in 2010 and 2011, the carrier has mostly resided in port for much of its 20-year career with the Thai Navy.
  • So while the Chakri Naruebet has not necessarily suffered from design flaws or repeated maintenance issues, we included it on the list because it's simply not being used for what it was supposed to.

America's USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78).

  • Commissioned in July 2017, the USS Gerald R. Ford is the most powerful and capable supercarrier ever built — but it's been dogged by repeated problems and is still not ready for combat a year after it entered service.
  • In April 2017 and January 2018, the Ford was sent back to port after experiencing a “main thrust bearing” failure.
  • In May 2018, the Ford was at sea undergoing trials, when its propulsion system malfunctioned, forcing back to port again after only three days.
  • The Ford has also had issues with the state-of-the-art Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System and Advanced Arresting Gear systems designed to launch and recover airplanes, which have suffered repeated delays, despite recent reports of progress.
  • The Ford's AAG caught its first C2-A Greyhound aircraft in late May, according to General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems.
  • When we reached out to renowned ship expert Eric Wertheim about our inclusion of the Ford in this piece, he pushed back.
  • "It's important to give new complex warships and weapon systems time to mature through operational experience," Wertheim told Business Insider in an email. "If you had looked at many of the most successful weapons and warship designs, they often might have looked like miserable failures early in their life cycle, but they eventually turned a corner."
  • "If a warship is still underperforming its mission after a decade or more, it's probably not a very sound design," Wertheim added.

Australia's HMAS Canberra (L02)

  • Commissioned in 2014, the HMAS Canberra is a Landing Helicopter Dock carrier, and one of two for the Royal Australian Navy.
  • Although the Canberra took part in RIMPAC 2018, it was sent back to port in March 2017 with serious propulsion problems.
  • It was expected to take only about seven to 10 days to resolve, but in May 2017, the Canberra was still undergoing repairs in dry dock.
  • "It may well be a design issue," Rear Admiral Adam Grunsell told ABC in May 2017.
  • One of the problems appeared to have been that faulty engine seals were leaking oil into different engine areas.

Jai Hind

Source-  National Interest & Buisness Insider

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