Aviation-capable naval vessels

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View of a Freedom-class littoral combat ship with a Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk helicopter on her deck
A pair of MH-53E Sea Dragons sitting on the deck of a Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship
View of a Lynx HMA8 helicopter sitting in front of the hangar on a Type 23 or Duke-class frigate

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.

US Navy ships[edit]

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)
San Antonio
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
Whidbey Island
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.

Other vessels[edit]

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

See also[edit]


External links[edit]