There was a time when whatever country ruled the sea, would most probably control the world. Battleships were commissioned for this purpose, as powerful countries tried to gobble up faraway lands.
While air power and long-range weapons have taken over, sea vessels still serve a vital purpose. Countries build huge boats in order to further their aim. Here now is a list of the top 10 biggest warships in the world in terms of length.
10. Lexington Class, United States – 270 meters
The Lexington Class warships were aircraft carriers of the United States Navy built during the 1920’s. They measured 270 meters in length with a top speed of 33.25 knots. Their range was up to 10,000 nautical miles at 10 knots. They were armed with four twin eight-inch guns and 12 single five-inch anti-aircraft guns. Both could carry up to 78 aircrafts. It had an innovative feature in the Taylor bow that reduced water resistance by up to six percent when traveling at high speeds. The USS Lexington was sunk in the Battle of Coral Sea in 1942. The other Lexington class ship, the USS Saratoga, was sunk as a target ship during atomic bomb testing in 1946.
9. Queen Elizabeth Class, United Kingdom – 284 meters
The Queen Elizabeth Class warships are a couple of aircraft carriers being built for the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. They will measure 284 meters in length with a top speed of more than 25 knots. The ships will be named the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales and will be commissioned into operational capability in 2020. They can comfortably carry up to 40 aircrafts, and even 50 when fully loaded. They will have a range of 10,000 nautical miles.
8. Admiral Kuznetsov Class, Russia – 302 meters
The Admiral Kuznetsov Class warships are a couple of aircraft carriers originally intended for the Soviet Union. They have a length of 302 meters with a top speed of 30 knots. The first ship is the Admiral Kuznetsov and became fully operational in 1995 under the Russian Navy. The other one was sold to China, which commissioned it in 2012 as the Liaoning. The ships can carry up to 40 aircrafts.
7. Midway Class, United States – 306 meters
The Midway Class warships were three aircraft carriers used by the United States Navy. They had a length of 306 meters and had a top speed of 33 knots. Back in World War II, the ships could carry up to 130 aircrafts each, though it was scaled down to between 45 and 55 aircrafts in the 1980’s. All three have been decommissioned, with the Midway now preserved in a museum. The Franklin D. Roosevelt was scrapped in 1978, while the Coral Sea was scrapped and cannibalized in 2000.
6. USS John F. Kennedy, United States – 320 meters
The USS John F. Kennedy was an aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. It is the only ship of the subclass of the Kitty Hawk. The ship has a length of 320 meters and had a top speed of 34 knots. It could carry up to more than 80 aircrafts. It was decommissioned however in 2007 and is now available for donation as a museum or memorial to a qualified organization.
5. Forrestal Class, United States – 325 meters
The Forrestal Class was a group of four aircraft carriers used by the United States Navy. The ships had a length of 325 meters with a top speed of 34 knots. The ships had a maximum capacity of 90 aircrafts each. All four ships have been decommissioned, beginning with the Ranger and the Forrestal in 1993, followed by the Saratoga in 1994 and the Independence in 1998. All four ships are still awaiting disposal by dismantling.
4. Kitty Hawk Class, United States – 327 meters
The Kitty Hawk Class warships were three aircraft carriers used by the United States Navy. The ships had a length of 327 meters with a top speed of 32 knots. Each aircraft had a capacity of up to 90 aircrafts. All three ships are now out of service, with the Kitty Hawk being decommissioned in 2009, the Constellation being stricken and waiting to be disposed, and the America being sunk as a target in 2005.
3. Nimitz Class, United States – 333 meters
The Nimitz Class warships were 10 aircraft carriers used by the United States Navy. The ships have a length of 333 meters with a top speed of more than 30 knots. Each of the ships could carry up to 90 fixed wing aircrafts and helicopters. All 10 ships are still in service, namely the Nimitz, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Carl Vinson, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, John C. Stennis, Harry S. Truman, Ronald Reagan and the George H. W. Bush.
2. Gerald R. Ford Class, United States – 337 meters
The Gerald R. Ford Class warships are 10 aircraft carriers that will be commissioned by the United States Navy starting in 2016. These ships will succeed the Nimitz Class with new technologies added, like the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System. The ships will have a top speed of more than 30 knots and will be able to carry more than 75 aircrafts. The first ship will be the Gerald R. Ford, followed by the John F. Kennedy in 2020 and the Enterprise in 2025. The names of the other seven ships have yet to be announced.
1. USS Enterprise, United States – 342 meters
The USS Enterprise was an aircraft carrier used by the United States Navy. It has a length of 342 meters with a top speed of 33.6 knots. It has the distinction of being the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the world. It is also the heaviest super carrier outside of the Nimitz Class of warships. The Enterprise normally holds up to 60 aircrafts, though it can accommodate as many as 90. The ship was inactivated in 2012 and is currently undergoing decommissioning. There are suggestions to convert it into a museum but the expenses may make it impractical.
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