What Defines Carrier Based Aircraft?

Carrier based aircraft refer to aircraft that take off and land on the aircraft carrier. Their performance determines the combat effectiveness of the aircraft carrier. The more carrier-based aircraft there are, the stronger their strength is.

Modern carrier-based aircraft have a combat radius of more than 1,000 kilometers. They can also extend the range by refueling in the air. After the attack, they can return to the aircraft carrier to load ammunition and take off to attack again. 

Its combat continuity and multi-purpose capabilities are also carrier-based aircraft. The biggest difference is the role played by cruise missiles in naval warfare.

Since World War I, the United States, Britain, Japan, Russia, and other countries have begun to use ships to carry aircraft. A total of 11 countries in the world currently have aircraft carriers: China, France, Italy, Russia, Japan, Spain, Brazil, India, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

  • United States: F-35B, F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet”
  • United Kingdom: AV-7 “Sea Harrier”
  • Russia: Su-33
  • China: J-15
  • India: MiG- 29K carrier-based aircraft, LCA brilliant fighter carrier-based type (NP-2 technology verification aircraft)

United States: F-35B

Carrier Based Aircraft

The F-35B is the only fifth-generation carrier-based fighter in active service in the world, with a length of 15.7 meters, a wingspan of 10.7 meters, an empty weight of 13.3 tons, a maximum speed of 1,800 kilometers per hour, a range of 2,200 kilometers. It can accurately detect and identify targets outside the defensive zone and has powerful air combat and air penetration capabilities.

United States: F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

Carrier Based Aircraft
US Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter.

The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet has a fuselage length of 18.31 meters, a fuselage height of 4.88 meters, a wingspan of 13.6 meters, a maximum take-off weight of about 29 tons, a maximum range of more than 3,000 kilometers, and a maximum speed of 1,913km/h.

It is equipped with a 20mm cannon and 11 external pylons. The maximum external load is 8 tons, and it is equipped with two General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofan engines.

United Kingdom: AV-7 Sea Harrier

Carrier Based Aircraft
AV-7 Sea Harrier

The aircraft has a wingspan of 7.7 meters, a length of 14.17 meters, a height of 3.71 meters, and a maximum short-range take-off weight of 11,880 kilograms. The practical ceiling is 14,630 meters, the low-altitude flight speed is 1,185 kilometers per hour, the flight range is 3,766 kilometers, and the combat radius is 460-750 kilometers. The take-off run distance is (0-305) meters.

Russia: Su-33

Carrier Based Aircraft

The “Su-33” has a total length of 21.19 meters, a wingspan of 14.7 meters, a folded height of 7.4 meters, a height of 5.93 meters, and an empty weight of 18,400 kilograms. Powered by two AL-31F afterburning turbofan engines, the maximum flight speed reaches Mach 2.17, the maximum take-off weight is 33,000 kg, the practical ceiling is 17,000 meters, and the flight range is 3,000 kilometers.

France: Rafale M fighter

Carrier Based Aircraft
Rafale M fighter

The Rafale M fighter is 5.34 meters high, with a wingspan of only 10.9 meters and a wing area of ​​46.0 square meters. It is currently the only carrier-based aircraft whose main wings do not need to be folded.

The Rafale M has an empty weight of 9670kg, a normal external weight of 6000kg, a maximum of 8000kg, and a maximum take-off weight of 21500kg; the maximum level flight speed is Mach 2.5, and the combat radius is 1093-1852 kilometers; the airborne weapons include 1 30mm cannon and 14 external Frame, the maximum ammunition load is 9 tons. 

It can carry cruise missiles, air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, etc.; its combat radius is 1,093 kilometers, and it can carry 12 250kg bombs, 4 Mika air-to-air missiles, and three auxiliary fuel tanks with a total capacity of 4,300 liters.

China: J-15

Carrier Based Aircraft

The J-15 heavy-duty carrier-based aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 32.5 tons, a full wingspan of 15.0 meters, a length of 22.28 meters, a maximum flight speed of Mach 2.4, and a maximum range of 3,400 kilometers. It is equipped with two turbofan-10B engines and adopts a ski-jump take-off method.

India: MiG-29K 

Carrier Based Aircraft

The MiG-29K has an empty weight of 12 tons, a maximum take-off weight of 21 tons, a bomb load of 5 tons, 4 tons of internal fuel, a maximum combat radius of 700 kilometers, and a flight speed of Mach 2.

India: LCA Brilliant Fighter Carrier Type (NP-2 Technology Demonstration Machine)

Carrier Based Aircraft

The LCA fighter is a typical light fighter with a maximum take-off weight of only 13.5 tons and an internal fuel of only 2.45 tons. Its combat radius is 800 kilometers when performing air-to-air combat missions and about 500 kilometers when performing ground-to-ground missions.