Helicopter carrier

A helicopter carrier is a type of aircraft carrier whose primary purpose is to operate helicopters. A helicopter carrier has a large flight deck that occupies a large part of the ship, which can extend the full length of the ship like HMS Ocean[1] of the Royal Navy (RN), or only partway, usually aft, as in the Soviet Navy's Moskva class, the Chinese Navy's Type 0891A or the Royal Fleet Auxiliary's (RFA) RFA Argus. It often also has a hangar deck for the storage of aircraft.

Pure helicopter carriers are difficult to define in the 21st century. The advent of STOVL aircraft such as the Harrier Jump Jet, and now the F-35, have complicated the classification; the United States Navy's Wasp class, for instance, carries six to eight Harriers as well as over 20 helicopters. Only smaller carriers unable to operate the Harrier and older pre-Harrier-era carriers can be regarded as true helicopter carriers. In many cases, other carriers, able to operate STOVL aircraft, are classified as "light aircraft carriers". Other vessels, such as the Wasp class, are also capable of embarking troops such as marines and landing them ashore; they are classified as amphibious assault ships.

Helicopter carriers have been used as anti-submarine warfare carriers and amphibious assault ships.

HMS Hermes and two of her sisters were 22,000 ton fleet carriers converted to "commando carriers" only able to operate helicopters. Hermes was later converted to a STOVL carrier.

Helicopter carriers by countryEdit

Country Navy In service In reserve Under construction
  Australia   Royal Australian Navy 2 0 0
  Brazil   Brazilian Navy 1 0 0
  China   People's Liberation Army Navy 2 0 2 (4 planned)
  Egypt   Egyptian Navy 2 0 0
  France   French Navy 3 0 0
  India   Indian Navy 0 0 0 (4 planned total)
  Japan   Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force 4 0 0
  Russia   Russian Navy 0 0 0 (3 planned total)
  South Korea   Republic of Korea Navy 1 0 1
  Spain   Royal Spanish Navy 1 0 0
  Thailand   Royal Thai Navy 1 0 0
  Turkey   Turkish Naval Forces 0 0 1
  United States   United States Navy 9 3 1 (11 planned total)

Helicopter carriersEdit

Helicopter carriers currently in useEdit

Country Name (Hull number) Length Tonnage (mt) Class Propulsion Type Classification Commission
  Australia Canberra (L02) 230.82 230.82 m (757.3 ft) 027500 27,500 mt Canberra
(modified Juan Carlos I)
Conventional STOVL Landing Helicopter Dock 28 November 2014
  Australia Adelaide (L01) 230.82 230.82 m (757.3 ft) 027500 27,500 mt Canberra
(modified Juan Carlos I)
Conventional STOVL Landing Helicopter Dock 4 December 2015
  China Type 0891A Shichang (82) 125 125 m (410 ft) 09500 9,500 mt Shichang Conventional VTOL Training Ship January 1997
  Brazil PHM Atlântico (A140) 203.4 203.4 m (667 ft) 021500 21,500 mt Conventional VTOL Landing Platform Helicopter 29 June 2018[2]
  Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser (L1010) 199 199 m (653 ft) 021300 21,300 mt Mistral Conventional VTOL Landing Helicopter Dock 2 June 2016[3]
  Egypt Anwar El Sadat (L1020) 199 199 m (653 ft) 021300 21,300 mt Mistral Conventional VTOL Landing Helicopter Dock 16 September 2016
  France Mistral (L9013) 199 199 m (653 ft) 021300 21,300 mt Mistral Conventional VTOL Landing Helicopter Dock December 2005
  France Tonnerre (L9014) 199 199 m (653 ft) 021300 21,300 mt Mistral Conventional VTOL Landing Helicopter Dock December 2006
  France Dixmude (L9015) 199 199 m (653 ft) 021300 21,300 mt Mistral Conventional VTOL Landing Helicopter Dock December 2011
  Japan JS Kaga (DDH-184) 248 248 m (814 ft) 027000 27,000 mt Izumo Conventional VTOL Helicopter destroyer 22 March 2017
  Japan JS Izumo (DDH-183) 248 248 m (814 ft) 027000 27,000 mt Izumo Conventional VTOL Helicopter destroyer 25 March 2015
  Japan JS Hyūga (DDH-181) 197 197 m (646 ft)[4] 013950 19,000 mt Hyūga Conventional VTOL Helicopter destroyer 18 March 2009
  Japan JS Ise (DDH-182) 197 197 m (646 ft)[4] 013950 19,000 mt Hyūga Conventional VTOL Helicopter destroyer 16 March 2011
  South Korea Dokdo (LPH-6111) 199 199 m (653 ft) 018800 18,800 mt Dokdo Conventional VTOL Landing Platform Helicopter 3 July 2007
  Spain Juan Carlos I (L-61) 230.82 230.82 m (757.3 ft) 027079 27,079 mt Juan Carlos I Conventional STOVL Landing Helicopter Dock 30 September 2010
  UK Argus (A135)[5] 175.1 175.1 m (574 ft) 020081 20,081 mt Unique merchant conversion Conventional VTOL Aviation Training Ship 1 June 1988
  US America (LHA-6) 257.3 257.3 m (844 ft) 045000 45,000 mt America[6] Conventional STOVL Landing Helicopter Assault 11 October 2014[7]
  US Wasp (LHD-1) 257 257 m (843 ft) 040532 40,532 mt Wasp[6] Conventional STOVL Landing Helicopter Dock 29 July 1989
  US Essex (LHD-2) 257 257 m (843 ft) 040650 40,650 mt Wasp Conventional STOVL Landing Helicopter Dock 17 October 1992
  US Kearsarge (LHD-3) 257 257 m (843 ft) 040500 40,500 mt Wasp Conventional STOVL Landing Helicopter Dock 16 October 1993
  US Boxer (LHD-4) 257 257 m (843 ft) 040722 40,722 mt Wasp Conventional STOVL Landing Helicopter Dock 11 February 1995
  US Bataan (LHD-5) 257 257 m (843 ft) 040358 40,358 mt Wasp Conventional STOVL Landing Helicopter Dock 20 September 1997
  US Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) 257 257 m (843 ft) 040500 40,500 mt Wasp Conventional STOVL Landing Helicopter Dock 15 August 1998
  US Iwo Jima (LHD-7) 257 257 m (843 ft) 040530 40,530 mt Wasp Conventional STOVL Landing Helicopter Dock 30 June 2001
  US Makin Island (LHD-8) 258 258 m (846 ft) 041649 41,649 mt Wasp Conventional STOVL Landing Helicopter Dock 24 October 2009

Retired helicopter carriersEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "HMS Ocean (LPH01) Helicopter Carrier". Naval Technology. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2014-04-20.
  2. ^ "Brazil commissions helicopter carrier". www.janes.com. 29 June 2018.
  3. ^ "DCNS delivers the second Mistral-class helicopter carrier to the Egyptian Navy, the LHD Anwar El Sadat". 16 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Hyuga Class". JMSDF Gallery (in Japanese). JMSDF. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  5. ^ B. Ireland and F. Crosby (2011). The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Aircraft Carriers And Naval Aircraft. Hermes House. p. 189.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b World Wide Aircraft Carriers
  7. ^ "America 'Sails Away' for Maiden Transit to San Diego Homeport". United States Navy. 10 October 2014.
  8. ^ "BBC News – Warship HMS Illustrious starts sea trials". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2014-04-20.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Helicopter carriers at Wikimedia Commons