The earliest aircraft carriers in history looked nothing like they do today.
They were known as “seaplane tenders” because they could only carry and support seaplanes.
These ships, like France’s Foudre and Britain’s HMS Ark Royal didn’t even have large flat decks, because seaplanes could only take off from the surface of the ocean after being placed on the water.
Over a century later, almost everything has changed. Affectionately nicknamed “flattops,” aircraft carriers have become one of the most important weapons in the arsenals of navies around the world.
There are currently 20 aircraft carriers in service with nine different countries around the world today. Five of those countries are currently building new aircraft carriers, which are expected to take to the seas in the next few decades.
The US, UK, China, India and Italy are all either in the process of building new flattops, or are in the final stages of planning. Aircraft carriers that support fixed-wing, smaller helicopter carriers are being built, and may be upgraded to carry aircraft like the F-35b, which has vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities.
See the newest aircraft carriers here:
Read more: businessinsider