Aircraft Carrier Evolutions: Platforms for the Future?

Recent aircraft carrier developments offer pointers about the evolution of future carrier capabilities globally, while also raising questions about directions in development. Nick Childs considers the latest moves, particularly from China, India, Italy, the U.K. and the U.S., as well as others who look set to join the carrier ‘club’.

In early August 2021, India began sea trials of its latest aircraft carrier, while China’s next carrier looks to be almost ready to launch. Italy’s new large aviation-capable amphibious ship (LHD) also started trials in August. In addition, the United Kingdom and the United States are already looking at the next steps in the development of their carrier capabilities, not least the incorporation of uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs). These and other developments offer pointers about the evolution of future carrier capabilities globally, while also raising questions about directions in development.

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