What is an Aircraft Carrier? Well, this majestic beast is a huge warship. It serves as an airbase in the ocean. An Aircraft Carrier is equipped with complete and high-end flight facilities and a flight deck that carries, deploy, and recovers aircraft. Because of its humongous size, only a few countries are able to make and construct an Aircraft Carrier since it is very difficult to create and of course, very expensive. There are several types of Aircraft Carrier that serve different purposes. If your country has this warship, how much did an Aircraft Carrier cost them?
Average Cost of Aircraft Carrier
The cost of Aircraft Carrier greatly depends on its specifications such as the size, the weight, the full capacity of the warship, arming, its system of propulsion, and much more. Another factor that factor that can affect the cost is its construction and its maintenance.
Even though Aircraft Carriers are very expensive to build, it is still a very critical asset for a country. It is greatly a good advantage for both offensive and defensive strikes. Why? First of all, because of its size, an Aircraft Carrier can carry a lot of military troops. Most of the battle group and the military force of a country can be carried by this warship. Another reason why Aircraft Carriers are important because it carries aircraft, which are also an important asset during a war. You can read more about how an Aircraft Carrier works by visiting How Stuff Works’ website.
But how much does an Aircraft Carrier cost then? As what we have mentioned above, it really depends on a lot of factors. Here is the list of some Aircraft Carriers around the world with their cost:
- The cost of Aircraft Carrier named Cavour CVH that is located in Italy runs around $2 billion.
- An Aircraft Carrier named Charles de Gaulle that is located in France has a cost of around $3.7 billion.
- An Aircraft Carrier named CVN-78 Gerald R Ford that is located in the United States has a cost of around $13.5 billion.
- The Aircraft Carrier in the United Kingdom named Queen Elizabeth costs around $3.7 billion.
- George HW Bush Aircraft Carrier in the United States costs around $6.26 billion.
- In Japan, their Aircraft Carrier named Hyuga DDH cost them around $1.06 billion.
- India also has their Aircraft Carrier named Vikrant that costs around $762 billion.
So basically, the cost of Aircraft Carrier run around billions of dollars. And keep in mind that the given prices are for the cost of the construction alone. There will still be operating cost that should be considered.
The maintenance and operational cost and the maintenance cost of a large size Aircraft Carrier run around $160 million per year. But wait, that is for the personnel alone! So if you add up the fuel for the aircraft and its parts for maintenance, the total operational cost for a single Aircraft Carrier per year would run around $400 million.
Another thing to consider is the launching of the Aircraft Carrier, which will also cost a lot. On the average, an Aircraft Carrier will be launched 18 times per day. This means that that cost to launch an Aircraft Carrier runs more than $90,000.
So if you are planning to purchase your own Aircraft Carrier, prepare at least $5 billion.
Countries with Aircraft Carriers
Now that you know how much does an Aircraft Carrier cost, you should best know what countries already have these warships.
As what we have mentioned above, there are only limited countries that can construct their own Aircraft Carrier. And as of 2017, there are around 37 Aircraft Carries that are currently active throughout the whole world. And that is within 12 navies. Business Insider has the complete list of Aircraft Carriers that are currently operating.
The United States alone have 10 supercarriers. These supercarriers are huge Aircraft Carriers that is powered using nuclear. Each of these supercarriers can carry at least 80 fighter jets. These supercarriers are the largest carriers in the whole world. The combined deck space of all 10 supercarriers is still twice larger than all of the aircraft carriers from other nations combined. Here are some of its specifications:
- The total height of a supercarrier runs around 244 feet. It can be compared to the height of a 24 story building.
- The water that is displaced when the carrier is fully loaded runs around 97,000 tons.
- The total weight of its steel structure runs around 60,000 tons.
- The total area of its flight deck runs around 4.5 acres.
- The number of compartments and spaces inside runs around 4,000 or more.
On the other hand, other countries such as China, India, Russia, and France have their own medium-sized aircraft carrier that can carry at least 30 up to 50 fighter jets.
Difference Between Supercarriers and Average Aircraft Carriers
As what we have mentioned above, the United States owns 10 supercarriers. And everybody knows how much does each of that cost. But why does the United States prefer supercarriers instead of the normal ones? Here are the reasons:
- Fast and Tough – This is the main reason why the United States spent a lot of money for supercarriers. Because of its size, armors, and compartments, this carrier can’t get any damage from torpedoes or naval mines. These carriers also move 35 miles per hour and can easily outrun any submarines.
- Durable Defenses – The United States’ supercarriers are all equipped with both active and passive defenses. It can easily defend missiles and submarines. Each of their supercarriers has high-end sensors, heat-seeking and radar-guided missiles, and Gatling guns. The supercarriers’ sensors and weapons are combined together through its high-end command center for more coordination during the action.
- Multiple Operation – The supercarriers in the United States do not operate alone. These means that they are all connected to a carrier strike group.
- Survivability – Even if the United States’ supercarriers are equipped and protected with high-end shields, they are still not complacent with it. They have created evolved operational navy tactics in order for them to minimize the risk.