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A light aircraft carrier is an aircraft carrier that is smaller than the standard carriers of a navy. The precise definition of the type varies by country; light carriers typically have a compliment of aircraft only ½ to ⅔ the size of a full-sized or "fleet" carrier.

In World War II, the United States Navy produced a number of light carriers by converting cruiser hulls. The Independence-class aircraft carrier, 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 and in the Pacific and 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, was designed. Two vessels in this class - and - 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 Britishmarker Royal Navy also 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.

List of light carriers

Argentine Navy


Brazilian Navy


French Navy


Indian Navy


Italian Navy


Japanese Navy


Spanish Navy


Royal Navy


Royal Australian Navy


Royal Canadian Navy


Royal Netherlands Navy


Royal Thai Navy


United States Navy


See also



Notes

  1. Watts(1967)p.49
  2. Brown(1977)pp.21-22
  3. Brown(1977)pp.21-22
  4. Watts(1967)pp.54&56
  5. Brown(1977)pp.26-27
  6. Watts(1967)p.56
  7. Brown(1977)pp.27-28
  8. Brown(1977)pp.27-28


References




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