An aircraft carrier is a warship that serves as a seagoing airbase, equipped with a full-length flight deck and facilities for carrying, arming and recovering aircraft. It is the capital ship of a fleet, as it allows a naval force to project air power worldwide without depending on local bases for staging aircraft operations. Carriers have evolved since their inception in the early twentieth century from wooden vessels used to deploy balloons to nuclear-powered warships that carry numerous fighters, strike aircraft and other types of aircraft. While heavier aircraft such as fixed-wing gunships and bombers have been launched from aircraft carriers, it is not possible to land them. By its diplomatic and tactical power, its mobility, its autonomy and the variety of its means, the aircraft carrier is the centerpiece of modern combat fleets. Tactically or strategically, it replaced the battleship in the role of flagship of a fleet. One of its great advantages is that, by sailing in international waters, it does not interfere with any territorial sovereignty and thus obviates the need for overflight authorizations from third party countries, reduce the times and transit distances of aircraft and therefore increase the time of availability on the combat zone.
There is no single definition of an "aircraft carrier", modern navies use several variants of the type. These variants are sometimes categorized as sub-types of aircraft carriers, sometimes as distinct types of naval aviation-capable ships. Aircraft carriers may be classified according to the type of aircraft they carry and their operational assignments. Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, RN, former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy, has said, "To put it countries that aspire to strategic international influence have aircraft carriers." Henry Kissinger, while United States Secretary of State said: "An aircraft carrier is 100,000 tons of diplomacy". As of April 2019, there are 41 active aircraft carriers in the world operated by thirteen navies; the United States Navy has 11 large nuclear-powered fleet carriers—carrying around 80 fighter jets each—the largest carriers in the world. As well as the aircraft carrier fleet, the U. S. Navy has nine amphibious assault ships used for helicopters, although these carry up to 20 vertical or short take-off and landing fighter jets and are similar in size to medium-sized fleet carriers.
China, India and the UK 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, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Thailand. Future aircraft carriers are under construction or in planning by Brazil, India, the United Kingdom, the United States. Amphibious assault ship Anti-submarine warfare carrier Balloon carrier and balloon tenders Escort carrier Fleet carrier Flight deck cruiser Helicopter carrier Light aircraft carrier Sea Control Ship Seaplane tender and seaplane carriers Aircraft cruiser A fleet carrier is intended to operate with the main fleet and provides an offensive capability; these are the largest carriers capable of fast speeds. By comparison, escort carriers were developed to provide defense for convoys of ships, they were slower with lower numbers of aircraft carried. Most were built from mercantile hulls or, in the case of merchant aircraft carriers, were bulk cargo ships with a flight deck added on top.
Light aircraft carriers were fast enough to operate with the main fleet but of smaller size with reduced aircraft capacity. The Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Kusnetsov was termed a heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser; this was a legal construct to avoid the limitations of the Montreux Convention preventing'aircraft carriers' transiting the Turkish Straits between the Soviet Black Sea bases and the Mediterranean. These ships, while sized in the range of large fleet carriers, were designed to deploy alone or with escorts. In addition to supporting fighter aircraft and helicopters, they provide both strong defensive weaponry and heavy offensive missiles equivalent to a guided missile cruiser. Aircraft carriers today are divided into the following four categories based on the way that aircraft take off and land: Catapult-assisted take-off barrier arrested-recovery: these carriers carry the largest and most armed aircraft, although smaller CATOBAR carriers may have other limitations. All CATOBAR carriers in service today are nuclear powered.
Two nations operate carriers of this type: ten Nimitz class and one Gerald R. Ford class fleet carriers by the United States, one medium-sized carrier by France, for a world total of twelve in service. Short take-off but arrested-recovery: these carriers are limited to carrying lighter fixed-wing aircraft with more limited payloads. STOBAR carrier air wings, such as the Sukhoi Su-33 and future Mikoyan MiG-29K wings of Admiral Kuznetsov are geared towards air superiority and fleet defense roles rather than strike/power projection tasks, which require heavier payloads. Today China and Russia each operate one carrier of this type – a total of three in service currently. Short take-off vertical-landing: limited to carrying STOVL aircraft. STOVL aircraft, such as the Harrier Jump Jet family and Yakovlev Yak-38 have limited payloads, lower perfor
USS Washington (1814)
USS Washington was a ship of the line of the United States Navy. The ship was authorized by the United States Congress on 2 January 1813 and was laid down in May of that year at the Portsmouth Navy Yard under a contract with the shipbuilders and Badger; the ship was launched on 1 October 1814 and was commissioned at Portsmouth on 26 August 1815, Captain John Orde Creighton in command. After fitting out, Washington sailed for Boston on 3 December 1815. In the spring of the following year, the ship-of-the-line shifted to Annapolis and arrived there on 15 May 1816. Over the ensuing days, the man-of-war welcomed a number of distinguished visitors who came on board to inspect what was, in those days, one of the more powerful American ships afloat; the guests included Commodore John Rodgers and Capt. David Porter, Col. Franklin Wharton, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, President and Mrs. James Madison; the Chief Executive and his lady came on board "at half past meridian, to visit the ship, on which occasion yards were manned and they were saluted with 19 guns and three cheers."
Washington sailed down Chesapeake Bay and embarked William Pinkney and his suite on 5 June. On 8 June, the ship of the line set sail for the Mediterranean flying the broad pennant of Commodore Isaac Chauncey, the commander of the Navy's fledgling Mediterranean Squadron. Washington reached Gibraltar on 2 July, en route to Naples. Washington made port at Naples on 25 July, Pickney debarked to commence his special mission—to adjust the claims of American merchants against the Neapolitan authorities; the talks ensued well into August. At the end of the month, the demands of diplomacy satisfied, Washington set sail. For the next two years, the ship-of-the-line operated in the Mediterranean as flagship of the American squadron, providing a display of force to encourage the Barbary states to respect American commerce. Dignitaries that visited the American man-of-war during this Mediterranean cruise included General Nugent, the commander in chief of Austrian forces and Prince Henry of Prussia. On 1 February 1818, Commodore Charles Stewart relieved Commodore Chauncey as commander of the American Mediterranean Squadron, at Syracuse harbor, after which time Washington cruised to Messina and the Barbary Coast.
She set sail for home on 23 May 1818—convoying 40 American merchantmen—and reached New York on 6 July 1818. The next day, the Vice President of the United States, Daniel D. Tompkins, visited the ship. Following her return to the United States, Washington was commanded by Captain Arthur Sinclair until 1819. Washington did little cruising thereafter, remaining at New York as Commodore Chauncey's flagship until 1820. Placed "in ordinary" that year, the ship-of-the-line remained inactive until broken up in 1843. Howard Chapelle, The History of the American Sailing Navy: the Ships and their Development ISBN 1-56852-222-3; this article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here
A ballistic missile follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver one or more warheads on a predetermined target. These weapons are only guided during brief periods of flight—most of their trajectory is unpowered, being governed by gravity and air resistance if in the atmosphere. Shorter range ballistic missiles stay within the Earth's atmosphere, while longer-ranged intercontinental ballistic missiles, are launched on a sub-orbital flight trajectory and spend most of their flight out of the atmosphere; these weapons are in a distinct category from cruise missiles, which are aerodynamically guided in powered flight. The earliest use of rockets as a weapon dates to the 13th Century. A pioneer ballistic missile was the A-4 known as the V-2 rocket developed by Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s under the direction of Wernher von Braun; the first successful launch of a V-2 was on October 3, 1942, it began operation on September 6, 1944 against Paris, followed by an attack on London two days later. By the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945, over 3,000 V-2s had been launched.
The R-7 Semyorka was the first intercontinental ballistic missile. A total of 30 nations have deployed operational ballistic missiles. Development continues with around 100 ballistic missile flight tests in 2007 by China and the Russian Federation. In 2010, the U. S. and Russian governments signed a treaty to reduce their inventory of intercontinental ballistic missiles over a seven-year period to 1550 units each. An intercontinental ballistic missile trajectory consists of three parts: the powered flight portion. Ballistic missiles can be launched from fixed sites or mobile launchers, including vehicles, aircraft and submarines; the powered flight portion can last from a few tenths of seconds to several minutes and can consist of multiple rocket stages. When in space no more thrust is provided, the missile enters free-flight. In order to cover large distances, ballistic missiles are launched into a high sub-orbital spaceflight; the re-entry stage begins at an altitude where atmospheric drag plays a significant part in missile trajectory, lasts until missile impact.
Reentry vehicles reenter the Earth's atmosphere at high velocities, on the order of 6-8 kilometers per second at ICBM ranges. The course taken by ballistic missiles has two significant desirable properties. First, ballistic missiles that fly above the atmosphere have a much longer range than would be possible for cruise missiles of the same size. Powered rocket flight through thousands of kilometers of air would require vastly greater amounts of fuel, making the launch vehicles larger and easier to detect and intercept. Powered missiles that can cover similar ranges, such as cruise missiles, do not use rocket motors for the majority of their flight, but instead use more economical jet engines. However, cruise missiles have not made ballistic missiles obsolete, due to the second major advantage: ballistic missiles can travel quickly along their flight path. An ICBM can strike a target within a 10,000 km range in about 30 to 35 minutes. With terminal speeds of over 5,000 m/s, ballistic missiles are much harder to intercept than cruise missiles, due to the much shorter time available.
Therefore, ballistic missiles are some of the most feared weapons available, despite the fact that cruise missiles are cheaper, more mobile, more versatile. Ballistic missiles can vary in range and use, are divided into categories based on range. Various schemes are used by different countries to categorize the ranges of ballistic missiles: Air-launched ballistic missile Tactical ballistic missile: Range between about 150 km and 300 km Theatre ballistic missile: Range between 300 km and 3,500 km Short-range ballistic missile: Range between 300 km and 1,000 km Medium-range ballistic missile: Range between 1,000 km and 3,500 km Intermediate-range ballistic missile or long-range ballistic missile: Range between 3,500 km and 5,500 km Intercontinental ballistic missile: Range greater than 5,500 km Submarine-launched ballistic missile: Launched from ballistic missile submarines. A comparable missile would be the decommissioned China's JL-1 SLBM with a range of less than 2,500 km. Tactical, short- and medium-range missiles are collectively referred to as tactical and theatre ballistic missiles, respectively.
Long- and medium-range ballistic missiles are designed to deliver nuclear weapons because their payload is too limited for conventional explosives to be cost-effective in comparison to conventional bomber aircraft. Throw-weight is a measure of the effective weight of ballistic missile payloads, it is measured in tonnes. Throw-weight equals the total weight of a missile's warheads, reentry vehicles, self-contained dispensing mechanisms, penetration aids, missile guidance sy
The Lafayette class of submarine was an evolutionary development from the Ethan Allen class of fleet ballistic missile submarine larger and improved. This class, together with the George Washington, Ethan Allen, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin classes, composed the "41 for Freedom," the Navy's primary contribution to the nuclear deterrent force through the late 1980s; the James Madison and Benjamin Franklin classes are combined with the Lafayettes in some references. The first eight submarines deployed with the Polaris A-2 missile being refitted with the longer ranged Polaris A-3, with USS Daniel Webster having the A-3 missile from the start. In the mid-1970s all were upgraded to carry the Poseidon C3 missile. Unlike twelve of the similar James Madison and Benjamin Franklin classes, none of the Lafayette-class submarines were refitted with Trident I missiles; the Lafayettes and their successors were equipped with a hovering system to manage trim more when firing missiles. Daniel Webster was built with diving planes mounted on a "mini-sail" near the bow, leading to her nickname "Old Funny Fins".
This configuration, unique to US submarines, was an attempt to reduce the effect of porpoising. While successful, the "mini-sail" required to contain the operating mechanism reduced hydrodynamic efficiency and lowered her overall speed. During a mid-1970s overhaul these unusual planes were removed and standard fairwater planes were installed; the Lafayettes were decommissioned between 1986 and 1992, due to a combination of SALT II treaty limitations as the Ohio class SSBNs entered service and the collapse of the Soviet Union. One remains out of commission but converted to a Moored Training Ship with the missile compartment removed, she is stationed at Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston, South Carolina, along with USS Sam Rayburn. Submarines of the Lafayette class: 41 for Freedom Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines Fleet Ballistic Missile List of submarines of the United States Navy List of submarine classes of the United States Navy Gardiner and Chumbley, Stephen. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995.
Annapolis, USA: Naval Institute Press, 1995. ISBN 1-55750-132-7. Polmar, Norman; the Ships and Aircraft of the U. S. Fleet: Twelfth Edition. London:Arms and Armour Press, 1981. ISBN 0-85368-397-2. US Naval Vessel Register - List of SSBN BALLISTIC MISSILE SUBMARINE Class vessels This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. NavSource.org SSBN photo gallery index
A schooner is a type of sailing vessel with fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts. The most common type has the foremast being shorter than the main. While the schooner was gaff-rigged, modern schooners carry a Bermuda rig; the first detailed definition of a schooner, describing the vessel as two-masted vessel with fore and aft gaff-rigged sails appeared in 1769 in William Falconer's Universal Dictionary of the Marine. According to the language scholar Walter William Skeat, the term schooner comes from scoon, while the sch spelling comes from the adoption of the Dutch spelling. Another study suggests that a Dutch expression praising ornate schooner yachts in the 17th century, "een schoone Schip", may have led to the term "schooner" being used by English speakers to describe the early versions of the schooner rig as it evolved in England and America; the Dutch word "schoon" means nice, good looking, sexually arousing, or horny.. A popular legend holds that the first schooner was built by builder Andrew Robinson and launched in Gloucester, Massachusetts where a spectator exclaimed "Oh how she scoons", scoon being similar to scone, a Scots word meaning to skip along the surface of the water.
Robinson replied, "A schooner let her be." The launch is variously described as being in 1713 or 1745. Naval architects such as Howard Chapelle have dismissed this invention story as a "childish fable", but some language scholars feel that the legend may support a Gloucester origin of the word. Other sources state the etymology as uncertain. Although associated with North America, schooners were first used by the Dutch in the 16th or 17th century, they were further developed in North America from the early 18th century, came into extensive use in New England. Schooners were popular in trades requiring speed and windward ability, such as slaving, blockade running, offshore fishing. In the Chesapeake Bay area several distinctive schooner types evolved, including the Baltimore clipper and pungy. Schooners were popular among pirates in the West Indies during the Golden Age of Piracy, for their speed and agility, they could sail in shallow waters, while being smaller than other ships of the time period, they could still hold enough cannons to intimidate merchant vessels into submission.
Schooners first evolved in the late 17th century from a variety of small two-masted gaff-rigged vessels used in the coast and estuaries of the Netherlands. Most were working craft but some pleasure yachts with schooner rigs were built for wealthy merchants. Following the arrival of the Dutch Stadtholder William of Orange on the British throne, the British Royal Navy built a royal yacht with a schooner rig in 1695, HMS Royal Transport; this vessel, captured in a detailed Admiralty model, is the earliest documented schooner. Royal Transport was noted for its speed and ease of handling, mercantile vessels soon adopted the rig in Europe and in European colonies in North America. Schooners were popular with colonial traders and fishermen in North America with the first documented reference to a schooner in the United States appearing in Boston port records in 1716. North American shipbuilders developed a variety of schooner forms for trading and privateering. Essex, was the most significant shipbuilding center for schooners.
By the 1850s, over 50 vessels a year were being launched from 15 shipyards and Essex became recognized worldwide as North America's center for fishing schooner construction. In total, Essex launched over 4,000 schooners, most headed for the Gloucester, fishing industry. Bath, was another notable center, which during much of the 19th century had more than a dozen yards working at a time, from 1781 to 1892 launched 1352 schooners, including the Wyoming. Schooners were popular on both sides of the Atlantic in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, long dominating yacht races such as the America's Cup, but gave way in Europe to the cutter. Schooners were used to carry cargo in many different environments, from ocean voyages to coastal runs and on large inland bodies of water, they were popular in North America. In their heyday, during the late 19th century more than 2,000 schooners carried on the Great Lakes. Three-masted "terns" were a favourite rig of Canada's Maritime Provinces; the scow schooner, which used a schooner rig on a flat-bottomed, blunt-ended scow hull, was popular in North America for coastal and river transport.
Schooners were used in North American fishing the Grand Banks fishery. Some Banks fishing schooners such as Bluenose became famous racers. Two of the most famous racing yachts and Atlantic, were rigged as schooners, they were about 152 feet in length. Although a schooner may have several masts, the typical schooner has only two, with the foremast shorter than the mainmast. There may be a bowsprit to help balance the rig; the principal issue with a schooner sail plan is how to fill the space between the two masts most effectively. Traditional schooners were gaff rigged, the trapezoid shape of the foresail occupied the inter-mast space to good effect, with a useful sail area and a low center of effort. A Bermuda rigged schooner has four triangular sails: a mainsail, a main staysail abaft the foremast, plus a forestaysail and a jib forward of the foremast. An advantage of the staysail schooner is that it is handled and reefed by a small crew, as both staysails can be self-tacking; the main staysail will not overlap the mainsail, so does little to prepare the wind for the mainsail, but is effective when close-hauled or when on a beam reach.
Ship of the line
A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th through to the mid-19th century. The ship of the line was designed for the naval tactic known as the line of battle, which depended on the two columns of opposing warships maneuvering to fire with the cannons along their broadsides. In conflicts where opposing ships were both able to fire from their broadsides, the side with more cannons, therefore more firepower had an advantage. Since these engagements were invariably won by the heaviest ships carrying the most powerful guns, the natural progression was to build sailing vessels that were the largest and most powerful of their time. From the end of the 1840s, the introduction of steam power brought less dependence on the wind in battle and led to the construction of screw-driven, wooden-hulled, ships of the line. However, the introduction of the ironclad frigate in about 1859 led swiftly to the decline of the steam-assisted ships of the line; the ironclad warship became the ancestor of the 20th-century battleship, whose designation is itself a contraction of the phrase "ship of the line of battle" or, more colloquially, "line-of-battle ship".
The term "ship of the line" has fallen into disuse except in historical contexts, after warships and naval tactics evolved and changed from the mid 19th century. The armed carrack, first developed in Portugal for either trade or war in the Atlantic Ocean, was the precursor of the ship of the line. Other maritime European states adopted it in the late 15th and early 16th centuries; these vessels were developed by fusing aspects of the cog of the North Sea and galley of the Mediterranean Sea. The cogs, which traded in the North Sea, in the Baltic Sea and along the Atlantic coasts, had an advantage over galleys in battle because they had raised platforms called "castles" at bow and stern that archers could occupy to fire down on enemy ships or to drop heavy weights from. Over time these castles became higher and larger, were built into the structure of the ship, increasing overall strength; this aspect of the cog remained in the newer-style carrack designs and proved its worth in battles like that at Diu in 1509.
The Mary Rose was an early 16th-century English carrack or "great ship". She was armed with 78 guns and 91 after an upgrade in the 1530s. Built in Portsmouth in 1510–1512, she was one of the earliest purpose-built men-of-war in the English navy, she was over 500 tons burthen, had a keel of over 32 m and a crew of over 200 sailors, 185 soldiers and 30 gunners. Although the pride of the English fleet, she accidentally sank during the Battle of the Solent, 19 July 1545. Henri Grâce à Dieu, nicknamed "Great Harry", was another early English carrack. Contemporary with Mary Rose, Henri Grâce à Dieu was 165 feet long, weighing 1,000–1,500 tons and having a complement of 700–1,000, it is said that she was ordered by Henry VIII in response to the Scottish ship Michael, launched in 1511. She was built at Woolwich Dockyard from 1512 to 1514 and was one of the first vessels to feature gunports and had twenty of the new heavy bronze cannon, allowing for a broadside. In all, she mounted 141 light guns, she was the first English two-decker, when launched she was the largest and most powerful warship in Europe, but she saw little action.
She was present at the Battle of the Solent against Francis I of France in 1545 but appears to have been more of a diplomatic vessel, sailing on occasion with sails of gold cloth. Indeed, the great ships were as well known for their ornamental design as they were for the power they possessed. Carracks fitted for war carried large-calibre guns aboard; because of their higher freeboard and greater load-bearing ability, this type of vessel was better suited than the galley to gunpowder weapons. Because of their development for conditions in the Atlantic, these ships were more weatherly than galleys and better suited to open waters; the lack of oars meant. Their disadvantage was that they were reliant on the wind for mobility. Galleys could still overwhelm great ships when there was little wind and they had a numerical advantage, but as great ships increased in size, galleys became less and less useful. Another detriment was the high forecastle, but as guns were introduced and gunfire replaced boarding as the primary means of naval combat during the 16th century, the medieval forecastle was no longer needed, ships such as the galleon had only a low, one-deck-high forecastle.
By the time of the 1637 launching of England's Sovereign of the Seas, the forecastle had disappeared altogether. During the 16th century the galleon evolved from the carrack, it was a more manoeuvrable type of ship with all the advantages of the carrack. The main ships of the English and Spanish fleets in the Battle of Gravelines of 1588 were galleons. By the 17th century every major European naval power was building ships like these. With the growing importance of colonies and exploration and the need to maintain trade routes across stormy oceans and galleasses were used