Aviation-capable naval vessels
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Many present-day naval vessels, aside from aircraft carriers and full-length deck amphibious assault ships, are capable of carrying aircraft. A majority of United States Navy ships have at least a helipad, capable of landing medium-sized helicopters. Many others have decks and even hangars incorporated into the structure of the ship. It has become a standard part of modern ship design to have a deck that supports multiple, medium or large helicopters, as well as being able to house them in a hangar, for protection and maintenance. Aside from carriers and full-length deck amphibious assault ships, the US Navy has 12 classes of commissioned surface warships, 10 of which are aviation-capable. Two of those classes, patrol ships and mine counter-measure ships, are due to be replaced by the Littoral combat ship, at which point the entire US Naval surface war fleet will be aviation-capable.
As of 2016, the current types and classes of US Navy ships, along with their capabilities are as follows:
|Type||Hull code||Class||Aircraft carried|
|Amphibious Command Ship||(LCC)||Blue Ridge||2 × Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk helicopters|
|Amphibious transport dock||(LPD)
|up to 4 or 6 × CH-46 Sea Knight or|
up to 5 × MV-22 Osprey Tilt-rotors.
(And also fixed-wing aircraft, such as the AV-8B Harrier II V/STOL jet, in an emergency)
|Cruiser||(CG)||Ticonderoga||2 × Sikorsky SH-60B or|
MH-60R Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.
|Destroyer||(DDG)||Arleigh Burke||up to 2 × MH-60R LAMPS III helicopters|
|Dock landing ship||(LSD)||Harpers Ferry
|2 × CH-53E Super Stallion or|
3 × CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
|Littoral combat ship||(LCS)||Freedom
|2 × MH-60R/S Seahawk and 1 × MQ-8 Fire Scout|
|Submarine tender||(AS)||Emory S. Land||none (equipped with platform for medium helicopter)|
Along with these types and classes, many of the US navy's non-commissioned ships, specifically those of the Military Sealift Command, are aviation-capable as well. The United States Coast Guard also has cutters that are aviation-capable. Also, with the growing technology in UAV's and UCAV's, virtually every ship afloat has, or will soon have, some type of aviation capability.
The following are examples of other types aviation-capable vessels from other navies around the world:
|Type||National Navy||Class||Aircraft carried|
|Amphibious transport dock||French Navy||Foudre||4 × helicopters|
|Command ship||Royal Danish Navy||Absalon||2 × EH-101 helicopters|
|Corvette||Israeli Navy||Sa'ar 5||1 × helicopter|
|Cruiser||Russian Navy||Slava||1 × Kamov Ka-25 or Kamov Ka-27 helicopter|
|Destroyer||People's Liberation Army Navy (China)||Type 052B or Guangzhou||1 × Kamov Ka-27 helicopter|
|Dock landing ship||Royal Australian Navy||Bay||none (can accommodate Chinook-sized helicopters and Osprey-sized tilt-rotors on its deck)|
|Frigate||Royal Navy (UK)||Type 23 or Duke||1 × Lynx HMA8 or 1 × Westland Merlin HM1|
|Landing platform dock||Spanish Navy||Galicia||4 × SH-3 Sea King or|
6 × NH-90 helicopters
|Landing Ship, Tank||Hellenic Navy (Greece)||Jason||none (equipped with platform for medium helicopter)|
|Helicopter destroyer||Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force||Hyūga||3 × SH-60K, 1 × MCH-101|