Special Report

This Is the World’s Largest Warship

LorraineHudgins / Getty Images

The United States has had the largest and most powerful navy in the world since World War II. According to several reports, that is no longer true. China has a large fleet, based on the total number of ships, but several of them are extremely small compared to the size of the world’s largest warships — American aircraft carriers. Two classes of carriers are approximately the same size. The first of these entered service in 1975. The second entered service in 2017.

The older of the two classes is the Nimitz-class carrier, named after World War II Pacific fleet admiral Chester Nimitz. Starting in 1975, the Navy commissioned 10 carriers in this class. They are 1,092 feet long and displace 100,000 long tons. They have a maximum speed of 30 knots, and their engines can produce 260,000 shaft horsepower. Each has a crew of about 6,000. The cost for each carrier was approximately $9 billion. (These are the states with the most veterans.)

The Nimitz-class carriers are being replaced by the Gerald R. Ford-class carriers. The Navy plans to have 10 of these eventually. Each is 1,092 feet long and has a displacement similar to Nimitz-class ships. The cost of these new carriers will be about $12 billion per ship. Each will have a crew of approximately 4,000. The first four carriers in the class have already been named: Gerald R. Ford (commissioned 2017), John F. Kennedy (scheduled for 2024), Enterprise (scheduled for 2028), and Doris Miller (scheduled for 2032).

The Navy has discovered a number of problems with the early Ford-class construction. According to the Congressional Research Service, “In addition to challenges in building, testing, and certifying the ship’s weapon elevators, the Navy reportedly has been working to address problems with other systems on the ship, including its propulsion and electrical systems.”

The largest warships behind the two U.S. carrier classes are carriers from China, Russia, and France. (These are America’s largest military bases around the world.)

To identify the world’s largest warships, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the length of warships from around the world from Military Machine. Ship class, name, and country of origin are also from Military Machine.

Click here to see the world’s largest warship

11. Izumo-Class Helicopter Destroyer
> Country: Japan
> Length (in feet): 814

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10. Kirov-class Cruiser
> Country: Russia
> Length (in feet): 827

9. Wasp-Class Amphibious Assault ship
> Country: United States
> Length (in feet): 843

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

8. America-Class Amphibious Assault Ship
> Country: United States
> Length (in feet): 844

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

7. Charles De Gaulle-Class Aircraft Carrier
> Country: France
> Length (in feet): 858

6. Clemenceau-Class Aircraft Carrier
> Country: France
> Length (in feet): 869

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4. Chinese Completed Kuznetsov-Class Aircraft Carrier
> Country: China
> Length (in feet): 999

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

3. Kuznetsov-Class Carrier
> Country: Russia
> Length (in feet): 1,001

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

2. Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier
> Country: United States
> Length (in feet): 1,092

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

1. Ford-Class Aircraft Carrier
> Country: United States
> Length (in feet): 1,092

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