Aircraft carriers range in length between 203.4 – 333m or 667 – 1,092ft.
The USS Gerald R. Ford is the world’s longest aircraft carrier at 333m or 1,092 feet in length.
Italy’s Giuseppe Garibaldi is the world’s shortest aircraft carrier, at 180.2m or 591ft in length.
There are only 25 aircraft carriers in the world, mostly belonging to the world’s most advanced militaries, with the U.S. owning 11 aircraft carriers.
Aircraft carriers cost between $3-6 billion on average and require additional battleships for protection during combat.
As a result, only the world’s most advanced militaries can afford to build and utilize aircraft carriers.
Table of Contents
- 1 Aircraft Carrier Lengths
- 2 Longest Aircraft Carrier in the World
- 3 Shortest Aircraft Carrier in the World
- 4 An Aircraft Carrier’s Runway is Very Long
- 5 As it its Anchor Chain
- 6 Aircraft Carriers Are Very Heavy
- 7 Aircraft Carrier Are Very Expensive
- 8 And Tall
- 9 Why There Are So Few Aircraft Carriers in the World
Aircraft Carrier Lengths
The world’s 25 aircraft carriers range in length from 203.4 – 333m or 667 -1,092ft long.
These are the lengths of the world’s 25 aircraft carriers by country.
- Brazil: The Atlântico is 203.4m or 667.3ft long.
- China: The Liaoning is 304.5m or 999ft long. The Shandong is 315m or 1,033.4ft long.
- France : The Charles de Gaulle is 261.5m or 858ft long.
- India : The INS Vikramaditya is 284m or 932ft long.
- Italy: The Cavour is 244m or 800.5ft long. The Giuseppe Garibaldi is 180.2m or 591.2ft long.
- Japan: The JS Izumo and Kaga are both 248m or 814ft long.
- Russia : The Admiral Kuznetsov is 305m or 1,000.6ft long.
- Spain : The Juan Carlos I is 230.82m or 757.3ft long.
- Thailand: The HTMS Chakri Naruebet is 182.65m or 599.2ft long.
- Turkey: The TCG Anadolu is 232m or 761ft long.
- United Kingdom: The HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are both 284m or 932ft long.
- United States: The USS Gerlad R.Ford is 333m or 1,092.52ft long. The US Nimitz class aircraft carriers, which consist of the ten following aircraft carriers, are all 332.8 m or 1,091.86ft long.
- The USS Nimitz
- The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
- The USS Carl Vinson
- The USS Theodore Roosevelt
- The USS Abraham Lincoln
- The USS George Washington
- The USS John C. Stennis
- The USS Harry S. Truman
- The USS Ronald Reagan
- The USS George H.W. Bush.
Longest Aircraft Carrier in the World
The USS Gerald R.Ford is the world’s longest aircraft carrier.
It’s 333m or 1,092.56ft long, which narrowly defeats the previous longest Nimitz class aircraft carriers, which were 332.8m or 1,091.86 ft long.
Shortest Aircraft Carrier in the World
Italy’s Giuseppe Garibaldi is the world’s shortest aircraft carrier.
It’s 180.2m or 591.2ft long, which is 2.4m or 8 feet longer than the previous shortest aircraft carrier, Thailand’s HTMS Chakri Naruebet, which is 182.65m or 599.2ft long.
An Aircraft Carrier’s Runway is Very Long
An aircraft carrier’s length ranges from 174 – 260m or 570-853ft, depending on the carrier’s model and country of origin.
All American aircraft carriers generally have 91.4m or 300ft long runways.
Britain’s HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Queen Elizabeth both have two shorter runways of 160m or 524ft for the STVOL joint strike fighter and one longer runway of 260m or 853ft for other aircraft.
The Russian Admiral Kuznetsov has three takeoff points, two of which are 90m or 295ft, and the third one is 180m or 590ft long.
Related: How Long is an Airport’s Runway?
As it its Anchor Chain
Aircraft carrier anchor chains are usually 16 shackles long, which converts to 438.9 m or 1,440ft.
Aircraft Carriers Are Very Heavy
The average aircraft carrier has a displacement between 40,000,000 tonnes when fully loaded.
The USS Gerald 4. Ford is the heaviest aircraft carrier, displacing 100,000 tonnes when fully loaded.
Thailand’s HTMS Chakri Naruebet is the lightest aircraft carrier, displacing 11,486 tonnes when fully loaded.
Aircraft Carrier Are Very Expensive
The average aircraft carrier costs between $3-6 billion to build, depending on the aircraft carrier’s size and level of sophistication, the country producing it, and its level of technology.
Thailand’s HTMS Chakri Naruebet is the world’s cheapest aircraft carrier, since it cost $336 million to build.
The world’s most expensive aircraft carrier is the USS Gerald R.Ford, which had an estimated building cost of $13.3 billion, but the whole cost of producing this aircraft carrier, including research and development, is around $37.3 billion.
Aircraft carriers are between 88-250 feet tall, with the USS Gerald R. Ford being the tallest aircraft carrier in the world at 250 feet.
Why There Are So Few Aircraft Carriers in the World
Aircraft carriers are expensive and need other navy ships to operate in combat.
As a result, most countries can’t afford to build and operate them, nor do they necessarily need aircraft carriers either.
Building an aircraft carrier costs potentially billions of dollars, which will be spent on the carrier’s research, development, construction, and operations.
Most countries cannot afford to invest that much into their militaries.
Also, aircraft carriers need other battleships to protect them during combat.
So a country needs multiple other large battleships to justify having aircraft carriers.
As a result, most countries don’t benefit enough from having aircraft carriers to afford the massive investment in research and construction to build them.
Several countries have purchased used aircraft carriers from other nations, though.
- Aircraft carriers are between 203.4 – 333m or 667-1,092ft long.
- The world’s aircraft carrier is the USS Gerald R. Ford, at 333m or 1,092ft long.
- The world’s shortest aircraft carrier is the Giuseppe Garibaldi, at 180.2m or 591ft in length.
- The average aircraft carrier weights approximately 40,000 tonnes when fully loaded, with the heaviest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, displacing 100,000 tonnes.
- The world’s lightest aircraft carrier, the HTMS Chakri Naruebet, displaces 11,486 tonnes when fully loaded.
- There are only 25 aircraft carriers worldwide because it costs between $3-6 billion to build an aircraft carrier on average.
- Aircraft carriers also need additional battleships for protection, so most countries aren’t willing to makes that sort of financial investment.
Helen Krasner holds a PPL(A), with 15 years experience flying fixed-wing aircraft; a PPL(H), with 13 years experience flying helicopters; and a CPL(H), Helicopter Instructor Rating, with 12 years working as a helicopter instructor.
Helen is an accomplished aviation writer with 12 years of experience, having authored several books and published numerous articles while also serving as the Editor of the BWPA (British Women Pilots Association) newsletter, with her excellent work having been recognized with her nomination of the “Aviation Journalist of the Year” award.
Helen has won the “Dawn to Dusk” International Flying Competition, along with the best all-female competitors, three times with her copilot.