Light aircraft carrier
name = Light aircraft carrier
caption = AV-8S Harriers embarked on the Spanish Navy light carrier "Dédalo" A light aircraft carrier is an
aircraft carrierthat is smaller than the standard carriers of a navy. The precise definition of the type varies by country; light carriers typically have half to two thirds of the aircraft complement of a full-sized carrier.
World War II, the United States Navyproduced a number of light carriers by converting cruiserhulls. The "Independence" class aircraft carriers, converted from "Cleveland" class light cruisers, were unsatisfactory ships for aviation with their narrow, short decks and slender, high-sheer hulls; in virtually all respects the escort carriers were superior aviation vessels. The "Independence" class ships, however, had the virtue of being available at a time when available carrier decks had been reduced to "Enterprise" and "Saratoga" in the Pacific and "Ranger" in the Atlantic. In addition, unlike escort carriers, they had enough speed to take part in fleet actions with the larger carriers. Late in the war, a follow on design to the Independence class, the "Saipan" class light carrier, was designed. Two vessels in this class, US Ships "Saipan" and "Wright", were completed after the war's end. After very brief lives as carriers, the "Saipans" were converted to command and communication ships.
In the post war period, the British
Royal Navyalso operated a force of light aircraft carriers, all of which were born out of wartime designs. British-built light fleet carriers of the "Colossus" and "Majestic" classes were also sold to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India and The Netherlands.
Some modern referencesFact|date=December 2007 call the French "Charles de Gaulle" a "light carrier," though at 40,000 tons and nuclear powered she dwarfs the vast majority of the world's aircraft carriers with the exception of the American
supercarriers and the Russian "Admiral Kuznetsov".
List of light carriers
ARA Independencia- one ship (ex-Colossus-class)
* ARA Veinticinco de Mayo - one ship (ex-Colossus-class)
NAeL Minas Gerais- one ship (ex-Colossus-class)
* Lafeyette-class - two ships (ex-Independence-class)
FS Arromanches- one ship (ex-Colossus-class)
INS Vikrant- one ship (ex-Majestic-class)
*"Garibaldi" - one ship
*Dédalo - one ship (ex-Independence class)
*Príncipe de Asturias - one ship
;Royal Canadian Navy
HMCS Warrior- one ship (ex-Colossus-class)
HMCS Magnificent- one ship (ex-Majestic-class)
HMCS Bonaventure- one ship (ex-Majestic-class)
;Royal Netherlands Navy
HNLMS Karel Doorman II- one ship (ex-Colossus-class)
;Royal Thailand Navy
HTMS Chakri Naruebet- one ship
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