Carrier battle group
A carrier battle group (CVBG) consists of an aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

 (designated CV) and its escorts, together composing the group. The first naval task forces built around carriers appeared just prior to and during World War II. The Imperial Japanese Navy was the first to assemble a large number of carriers into a single task force, known as Kido Butai. This task force was used with devastating effect during the Pearl Harbor Attack.
A carrier battle group (CVBG) consists of an aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

 (designated CV) and its escorts, together composing the group. The first naval task forces built around carriers appeared just prior to and during World War II. The Imperial Japanese Navy was the first to assemble a large number of carriers into a single task force, known as Kido Butai. This task force was used with devastating effect during the Pearl Harbor Attack. Kido Butai operated as the IJN's main carrier battle group until four of its carriers were sunk at the Battle of Midway
Battle of Midway
The Battle of Midway is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea and six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy decisively defeated...

. In contrast, the United States Navy deployed its large carriers in separate formations, with each carrier assigned its own cruiser and destroyer escorts. These single-carrier formations would often be paired or grouped together for certain assignments, most notably the Battle of the Coral Sea
Battle of the Coral Sea
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States and Australia. The battle was the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged...

 and Midway. By 1943 however, large numbers of fleet and light carriers became available, which required larger formations of three or four carriers. These carrier groups eventually formed the Fast Carrier Task Force
Fast Carrier Task Force
The Fast Carrier Task Force was the main striking force of the United States Navy in the Pacific Ocean theatre of World War II.The Fast Carrier Task Force was known under two designations. The Navy made use of two sets of upper command structures for planning the upcoming operations...

, which became the primary battle force of the U.S. Fifth and Third Fleets.

With the construction of the large supercarriers of the Cold War era, the practice of operating each carrier in a single formation was revived. During the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, the main role of the CVBG in case of conflict with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 would have been to protect Atlantic supply routes between the United States and Europe, while the role of the Soviet Navy
Soviet Navy
The Soviet Navy was the naval arm of the Soviet Armed Forces. Often referred to as the Red Fleet, the Soviet Navy would have played an instrumental role in a Warsaw Pact war with NATO, where it would have attempted to prevent naval convoys from bringing reinforcements across the Atlantic Ocean...

 would have been to interrupt these sea lanes, a fundamentally easier task. Because the Soviet Union had no large carriers of its own, a situation of dueling aircraft carriers would have been unlikely. However, a primary mission of the Soviet Navy's attack submarines was to shadow every CVBG and, on the outbreak of hostilities, sink the carriers. Understanding this threat, the CVBG expended enormous resources in its own anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....


Carrier battle groups in crises

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, most of the uses of CVBGs by the United States as well as that of other nations have been in situations in which their use has been uncontested by other comparable forces.

Carriers in the 1956 Suez Crisis

British and French carrier battle groups were involved in the 1956 Suez Crisis.

Carriers in the 1982 Falklands War

During the later part of the Cold War, an important battle scenario was an attack against a CVBG using large number of anti-ship cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

s. The first attempted use of anti-ship missiles against a carrier group was part of Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

's efforts against Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in the Falklands War
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

. Interestingly, this was the last conflict in which two belligerents employed aircraft carriers, although Argentina would make little use of its sole carrier
ARA Veinticinco de Mayo (V-2)
The ARA Veinticinco de Mayo was an aircraft carrier in the Argentine Navy from 1969 to 1997. The English translation of the name is the Twenty-fifth of May, which is the date of Argentina's May Revolution in 1810....

, ironically supplied originally by Britain.


The United States Sixth Fleet assembled a force of three carrier battle groups and a battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

 during the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

 in 1983. Daily reconnaissance flights were flown over the Bekaa Valley and a strike was flown against targets in the area resulting in loss of an A-6 Intruder
A-6 Intruder
The Grumman A-6 Intruder was an American, twin jet-engine, mid-wing attack aircraft built by Grumman Aerospace. In service with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps between 1963 and 1997, the Intruder was designed as an all-weather medium attack aircraft to replace the piston-engined A-1 Skyraider...

 and an A-7 Corsair
A-7 Corsair II
The Ling-Temco-Vought A-7 Corsair II is a carrier-based subsonic light attack aircraft introduced to replace the United States Navy's Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, initially entering service during the Vietnam War...


Gulf of Sidra

Carrier battle groups routinely operated in the Gulf of Sidra
Gulf of Sidra
Gulf of Sidra is a body of water in the Mediterranean Sea on the northern coast of Libya; it is also known as Gulf of Sirte or the Great Sirte or Greater Syrtis .- Geography :The Gulf of Sidra has been a major centre for tuna fishing in the Mediterranean for centuries...

 inside the "Line of Death" proclaimed by Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 resulting in aerial engagements in 1981, 1986 and 1989 between U.S. Navy Tomcats and Libyan Su-22 aircraft, SA-5 surface-to-air missiles and MiG-23 fighters. During the 1986 clashes, three carrier battle groups deployed to the Gulf of Sidra and ultimately two of them conducted strikes against Libya in Operation El Dorado Canyon
Operation El Dorado Canyon
The 1986 United States bombing of Libya, code-named Operation El Dorado Canyon, comprised the joint United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps air-strikes against Libya on April 15, 1986. The attack was carried out in response to the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing.-Origins:Shortly after his...



During the international military intervention
2011 military intervention in Libya
On 19 March 2011, a multi-state coalition began a military intervention in Libya to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which was taken in response to events during the 2011 Libyan civil war...

 in the 2011 Libyan civil war
2011 Libyan civil war
The 2011 Libyan civil war was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Benghazi beginning on 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security...

, the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

 deployed its aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, off Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

. The Charles de Gaulle was accompanied by the frigates Dupleix and Aconit, and the replenishment tanker Meuse
Durance class tanker
The Durance class is a series of multi-product replenishment oilers, originally designed and built for service in the French Navy. Besides the five ships built for the French Navy, a sixth was built for the Royal Australian Navy, while the lead ship of the class currently serves with the Argentine...


The U.S. Navy carrier strike group

In modern United States Navy carrier air operations, Carrier strike group
Carrier Strike Group
A carrier strike group is an operational formation of the United States Navy. It is composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, an aircraft carrier, at least one cruiser, a destroyer squadron of at least two destroyers and/or frigates, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft...

 (CSG) has replaced the traditional term of carrier battle group (CVBG or CARBATGRU). The Navy maintains 11 carrier strike groups, 10 of which are based in the United States and one that is forward deployed in Japan. CSG or CVBG normally consist of 1 Aircraft Carrier, 2 Guided Missile Cruisers, 2 Anti Aircraft Warships, and 1-2 Anti Submarine Destroyers or Frigates. The large number of CSGs used by the United States reflects, in part, a division of roles and missions allotted during the Cold War, in which the United States assumed primary responsibility for blue water
Blue-water navy
The term blue-water navy is a colloquialism used to describe a maritime force capable of operating across the deep waters of open oceans. While what actually constitutes such a force remains undefined, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at wide ranges...

 operations and for safeguarding supply lines between the United States and Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, while the NATO allies assumed responsibility for brown
Brown-water navy
Brown-water navy is a term that originated in the United States Navy, referring to the small gunboats and patrol boats used in rivers, along with some of the larger ships that supported them as "mother ships," from which they operated...

 and green water
Green-water navy
A Green-Water Navy is a naval term that refers to a naval force whose power projection capability is regional in nature. This is a relatively new terminology, as earlier non blue-water navies used to be collectively referred to as brown-water navy....


Battleship battle group

During the period when the American navy recommissioned all four of its Iowa class battleships, it sometimes used a similar formation centered on a battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

, referred to as a battleship battle group (BBBG). It was alternately referred to as a Surface Action Group (SAG).

British carrier battle groups

The Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 did maintain two task forces concurrently (one based on an aircraft carrier and one based on an Amphibious Command Ship). At least one task group would be deployed at any one time. There is currently one Invincible class aircraft carrier
Invincible class aircraft carrier
The Invincible class is a class of light aircraft carrier operated by the British Royal Navy. Three ships were constructed, , and . The vessels were built as aviation-capable anti-submarine warfare platforms to counter the Cold War North Atlantic Soviet submarine threat, and initially embarked...

 in operation with the Royal Navy although due to the retirement of the BAE Harrier it will serve as a helicopter carrier
Helicopter carrier
Helicopter carrier is a term for an aircraft carrier whose primary purpose is to operate helicopters. The term is sometimes used for both ASW carriers and amphibious assault ships....

, the other two are now decommissioned. The Royal Navy also utilises the Ocean Class
HMS Ocean (L12)
HMS Ocean of the Royal Navy is an amphibious assault ship , the sole member of her class. She is designed to support amphibious landing operations and to support the staff of Commander UK Amphibious Force and Commander UK Landing Force...

Landing Platform, Helicopter
LPH is the hull classification used by a number of the world's navies to designate a type of amphibious warfare ship designed primarily to operate as a launch and recovery platform for helicopters and other VTOL aircraft...

 as well as the two Albion Class
Albion class landing platform dock
The Albion class is a class of landing platform dock, and are the newest amphibious assault vessels in the Royal Navy fleet. The class consists of two vessels, and and they were ordered in 1996 under a programme known as LPD to replace the aging Fearless class...

Amphibious transport dock
An amphibious transport dock, also called a landing platform/dock , is an amphibious warfare ship, a warship that embarks, transports, and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions. Several navies currently operate this kind of ship...

 as Amphibious Command Ships at the centre of a task group.
The two new Queen Elizabeth class are currently under construction and will operate the F-35
F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability...

, replacing the ageing Invincible class in 2019.

French carrier battle groups

The only serving French carrier is the Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle (R 91)
Charles de Gaulle is the flagship of the French Navy and the largest Western European aircraft carrier. She is the tenth French aircraft carrier, the first French nuclear-powered surface vessel, and the first and so far only nuclear-powered carrier completed outside of the United States Navy...

, which also serves as the flagship of the Marine Nationale.

The Carrier Battle Group (Groupe Aéronaval, GAN, in French) of the Force d'Action Navale
Force d'Action Navale
The Force d'action navale is the 12,000-man and about 100-ship strong backbone of the French Navy. As of 2006, it is commanded by Vice-Amiral d’Escadre Philippe Sautter.The ships are divided into seven categories:...

 is usually composed, in addition to the aircraft carrier, of :
  • a carrier air wing
    Carrier air wing
    A Carrier Air Wing is an operational naval aviation organization composed of several aircraft squadrons and detachments of various types of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft...

     (Groupe Aérien Embarqué, GAE, in French), a complement composed of about 40 aircraft :
    • Rafale (up to 24)
    • Super Étendard
      Dassault Super Étendard
      The Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard is a French carrier-borne strike fighter aircraft designed for service with the French Navy...

       (up to 36)
    • E-2C Hawkeye
      E-2 Hawkeye
      The Grumman E-2 Hawkeye is an American all-weather, aircraft carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning aircraft. This twin-turboprop aircraft was designed and developed during the late 1950s and early 1960s by the Grumman Aircraft Company for the United States Navy as a replacement for the...

    • SA365 Dauphin
      Eurocopter Dauphin
      The Eurocopter SA 365/AS365 Dauphin 2 is a medium-weight multipurpose twin-engine helicopter manufactured by Eurocopter .-Design and development:...

       (3 or more)
  • one Rubis Class SSN
    Rubis class submarine
    The Rubis type is a class of first-generation nuclear attack submarines of the French Navy. They are the most compact nuclear attack submarines to date.All submarines of the class are named after gemstones.-History:...

  • two anti-submarine destroyers (currently F67
    Tourville class frigate
    The F67 type is a class of large high-sea Destroyers of the French Navy specialised in anti-submarine warfare. They have anti-air and anti-surface capabilities....

     or F70
    Georges Leygues class frigate
    The Georges Leygues class is a class of anti-submarine frigates of the French Navy. They are polyvalent , due to their Exocet and Crotale missile complement, making them especially suitable for defence of strategic positions, demonstrations, or highseas escorts.The superstructures were built as to...

  • one or two anti-air destroyers (currently Cassard class destroyers
    Cassard class frigate
    The Cassard class is a class of AA frigates of the French Navy. The class is an air defence variant of the Georges Leygues class. The two classes have a different armament and propulsion system mounted on an identical hull. Their primary role is to provide air cover for a fleet, an aeronaval...

    , soon helped by Horizon class destroyers
    Horizon class frigate
    The Horizon Common New Generation Frigate is a multi-national collaboration to produce a new generation of anti-air warfare frigates. Originally an alliance of Britain, France and Italy, the project is now a French/Italian effort following the withdrawal of Britain due to differing requirements...

  • one frigate in forward patrol (usually a La Fayette class
    La Fayette class frigate
    The La Fayette class units are light multi-mission frigates built by DCN and operated by French Marine Nationale...

  • one supply ship

This group is commanded by a rear admiral (contre-amiral
Counter Admiral
Counter admiral is a rank found in many navies of the world, but no longer used in English-speaking countries, where the equivalent rank is rear admiral...

, in French) on board the aircraft carrier. The commanding officer of the air group (usually a capitaine de frégate—equivalent to commander) is subordinate to the commanding officer of the aircraft carrier, a senior captain. The escort destroyers (called frigates in the French denomination) are commanded by more junior captains. The Charles de Gaulle is likely to be joined by the future French aircraft carrier
Future French aircraft carrier
PA2 is a planned new aircraft carrier developed for the French Navy by Thales Naval France and DCNS from the Thales UK/BMT design for the future British Queen Elizabeth class....

 at some point in the future.

Italian carrier battle group

The CVS–ASW (Aircraft Carrier with Anti-Submarine Warfare) Giuseppe Garibaldi is Italy's first carrier. The battle group based in Taranto called COMFORAL is formed by the carrier Garibaldi, two "Durand de La Penne" class destroyers, two support ships Etna and Elettra, and three amphibious/support ships (San Giusto, San Marco and San Giorgio).

After 2010 the Italian battle group will be formed by the new carrier Cavour, 5-6 new warships (including destroyers Horizon and frigates FREMM), one new support ship, some minehunters and new submarines (the COMFORAL will be a reserve group).

Spanish carrier battle group

The Spanish Navy currently operates one carrier, the Principe de Asturias, and the multi-purpose warship Buque de Proyección Estratégica
Buque de Proyección Estratégica
Juan Carlos I is a multi-purpose warship in the Spanish Navy . Similar in concept to the American Wasp class LHDs it has the addition of a ski jump for STOVL operations. The ship will be equipped with fighter jets of the AV-8B Harrier type and will primarily be used as an aircraft carrier...

, which can be used as a second carrier.

The group includes two escort squadrons: the 41st, with ASW Santa Maria class frigate
Santa Maria class frigate
The Santa Maria class of frigates are theSpanish Navy's designation for six locally-built warships based on theOliver Hazard Perry-class frigatesof the United States Navy....

s, and the 31st, with AEGIS
Aegis combat system
The Aegis Combat System is an integrated naval weapons system developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA, and now produced by Lockheed Martin...

 Álvaro de Bazán class
Álvaro de Bazán class frigate
The Álvaro de Bazán class are a new class of Aegis combat system-equipped air defense frigates entering service with the Spanish Navy...

 AAW frigates.

Indian carrier battle group

The centrepiece of the Indian carrier battle group is currently the INS Viraat
INS Viraat
INS Viraat is a Centaur class aircraft carrier currently in service with the Indian Navy. INS Viraat is the flagship of the Indian Navy, the oldest carrier in service and one of two aircraft carriers in the Indian Ocean Region.The Viraat was completed and commissioned in 1959 as the Royal Navy's...

, an updated Centaur class light carrier originally built for the Royal Navy as HMS Hermes
HMS Hermes (R12)
HMS Hermes was a Centaur-class British aircraft carrier, the last of the postwar conventional aircraft carriers commissioned into the Royal Navy.-Construction and modifications:...

, which was laid down in 1944 and commissioned in 1959. It was purchased by India in 1986. India will commission a second aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya
INS Vikramaditya
INS Vikramaditya is the new name for the former Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which has been procured by India, and is estimated to enter service in the Indian Navy after 2012....

, in 2012 and will follow this with a third carrier, INS Vikrant 2, in 2015. Whilst INS Vikramaditya is a former Soviet Kiev class carrier, the Admiral Gorshkov
Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov
Admiral Gorshkov was a modified Kiev class aircraft carrier of the Russian Navy, originally named Baku. Sometimes Gorshkov is considered a separate class due to its improvements including a phased array radar, extensive electronic warfare installations, and an enlarged command and control suite...

, the Vikrant will be the first indigenous Indian aircraft carrier. India eventually will have 2 Carrier battle groups by 2017.

The Indian Navy
Indian Navy
The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff , usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the Navy...

's CBG usually consists of two destroyers (usually of the Delhi
Delhi class destroyer
The Delhi class destroyers are guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy. Three ships of this class are in active service.The Delhi class vessels are the largest warships to be fully designed and built in India, although they will soon be superseded by the Kolkata class destroyers and the...

 Class, previously Kashins
Kashin class destroyer
The Kashin class destroyers were a group of guided missile destroyers built for the Soviet Navy in the 1960s and early 1970s. Their Soviet designation was Project 61...

 were used) and two or more frigates, (usually a combination of Brahmaputra
Brahmaputra class frigate
The Brahmaputra class frigates are guided-missile frigates of the Indian Navy, designed and built in India. They are an enhancement of the Godavari class, with a displacement of 3850 tons and a length of 126 metres...

, Talwar
Talwar class frigate
The Talwar class is a new class of frigates designed and built by Russia for the Indian Navy. The Talwar class guided missile frigates, also known as the Type 1135.6, are modified Krivak III class frigates from Russia...

 or Shivalik
Shivalik class frigate
The Shivalik class frigates or Project 17 class frigates are multi-role frigates with stealth features being built for the Indian Navy. They are the first warships being built in India with such features. The lead vessel of the class was commissioned on April 29, 2010.The Shivalik class will be the...

 class) and one support ship.

Russian carrier battle group

The sole Russian carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov is rarely out to sea. Of the few sorties the carrier has conducted, most have been solo missions and without a large escort. However, the Kuznetsov has been observed sailing together with a Kirov class cruiser (CGN)
Kirov class battlecruiser
The Kirov-class battlecruiser is a class of nuclear-powered military ships of the Russian Navy, the largest and heaviest surface combatant warships currently in active operation in the world. The Russian designation is heavy nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser...

, Slava class CG
Slava class cruiser
The Slava class cruiser, Soviet designation Project 1164 Atlant, is a large conventionally-powered warship, currently operated by Russia.-Design:...

, Sovremenny class DDG (ASuW)
Sovremenny class destroyer
The Sovremenny class destroyer is the principal anti-surface warship of the Russian Navy. Soviet designation for the class was Project 956 Sarych ....

, Udaloy class DDG (ASW)
Udaloy class destroyer
The Udaloy I class are a series of anti-submarine destroyers built for the Soviet Navy, eight of which are currently in service with the Russian Navy. The Russian designation is Project 1155 Fregat...

 and Krivak I/II FFG (ASW)
Krivak class frigate
The Project 1135 Burevestnik class were a series of frigates built for the Soviet Navy. These ship are commonly known by their NATO reporting name of Krivak and are divided into Krivak-I, Krivak-II, and Krivak-III classes.These ships were designed as a successor to the Riga class...

. These escorts, especially the heavily armed Kirov class cruiser, use advanced sensors and carry a variety of weaponry. However, ships like the Kirov would likely be used in offensive operations rather than fleet escort in the event of war. Carrier escort would then be conducted by smaller vessels such as a Slava class accompanied by several Sovremenny, Udaloy and Krivak vessels.

The Admiral Kuznetsov is designed specifically to sail alone and carries greater firepower than its U.S. counterparts. This includes 12x SS-N-19 'Shipwreck' (long range, high speed, sea-skimming) SSMs, 24x VLS units loaded with 192 SA-N-9 'Gauntlet' SAMs, and 8x Kashtan CIWS with dual 30 mm guns, and 8x AK-630 CIWS. Compared to the 4x Phalanx CIWS and 4x Sea Sparrow launchers, each with 6 missiles carried by the Nimitz class, the Kuznetsov is well armed for both air-defence and offensive operations against hostile shipping.

Brazilian carrier battle group

The NAe São Paulo forms Brazil's only carrier battle group, together with 4 Frigates from Type-22/1 Class Frigates and Vosper Mk.10 Class Frigates (known as Niteroi Class), 1 or 2 Tupi Class Submarine, and one NT Almirante Gastão Motta Replenishment Oiler, with VF-1 "Falcão" Air Wing equipped with 6 to 9 Attack Aircraft AF-1 SkyHawk (A-4Ku), and 3 more Helicopters Squadrons for Attack, ASW and Multi-Mission (between AS332 Super Puma, AS532 Cougar, Super Lynx, Esquilo, EC 725 (16 ordered) SH-3 (being replaced by 6 new SH-70B)) and 2 more Fixed Wings Squadrons for AEW, COD and REVO (C-1A Trader and S-2 Tracker ordered). The NAe São Paulo was formerly Clemenceau class aircraft carrier
Clemenceau class aircraft carrier
The Clemenceau class aircraft carrier are a pair of aircraft carriers which served in the French Navy from 1961 through 2000, and of which one currently remains in active service with the Brazilian Navy...

 Foch, a design used by the French Navy until 1997.

Thai carrier battle group

HTMS Chakri Naruebet is Thailand's only aircraft carrier, and is based upon the Principe de Asturias of the Spanish Navy.

Underway replenishment

Since its origins, the viability of the carrier battle group has been dependent on its ability to remain at sea for extended periods. Specialized ships were developed to provide underway replenishment of fuel (for the carrier and its aircraft), ordnance, and other supplies necessary to sustain operations. Carrier battle groups devote a great deal of planning to efficiently conduct underway replenishment
Underway replenishment
Underway replenishment or replenishment at sea is a method of transferring fuel, munitions, and stores from one ship to another while under way.-History:...

 to minimize the time spent conducting replenishment. The carrier can also provide replenishment on a limited basis to its escorts, but typically a replenishment ship such as a fast combat support ship
Fast combat support ship
The fast combat support ship is the United States Navy's largest combat logistics ship, designed as an oiler, ammunition and supply ship. All fast combat support ships currently in service are operated by Military Sealift Command . The AOE has the speed and armament to keep up with carrier battle...

 (AOE) or replenishment oiler
Replenishment Oiler
A replenishment oiler or fleet tanker is a naval auxiliary ship with fuel tanks and dry cargo holds, which can replenish other ships while underway in the high seas. Such ships are used by several countries around the world....

 (AOR) pulls alongside a carrier and conducts simultaneous operations with the carrier on its port side and one of the escorts on its starboard side. The advent of the helicopter provides the ability to speed replenishment by lifting supplies at the same time that fuelling hoses and lines are delivering other goods.

Debate on future viability

There is debate in naval warfare circles as to the viability of carrier battle groups in 21st century naval warfare. Proponents of the CVBG argue that it provides unmatched fire power and force projection capabilities. Opponents argue that CVBGs are increasingly vulnerable to arsenal ship
Arsenal ship
An arsenal ship is a concept for a floating missile platform intended to have as many as five hundred vertical launch bays for mid-sized missiles, most likely cruise missiles...

s and cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

s, especially those with supersonic
Supersonic speed is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound . For objects traveling in dry air of a temperature of 20 °C this speed is approximately 343 m/s, 1,125 ft/s, 768 mph or 1,235 km/h. Speeds greater than five times the speed of sound are often...

 flight and the ability to perform radical trajectory changes to avoid anti-missile systems. It is also noted that that CVBGs were designed for Cold War scenarios, and are less useful in establishing control of areas close to shore. It is argued however that such missiles and arsenal ships pose no serious threat as they would be eliminated due to increasing improvement in ship defenses such as CEC (cooperative engagement capability), DEW technology and missile technology.

However, carriers have been called upon to be first responders even when conventional land based aircraft were employed. During Desert Shield, the U.S. Navy sortied additional carriers to augment the on station assets eventually maintaining six carriers for Desert Storm. Although the U.S. Air Force sent fighters such as the F-16 to theater in Desert Shield, they had to carry bombs with them as no stores were in place for sustained operations whereas the carriers arrived on scene with full magazines and had support ships to allow them to conduct strikes indefinitely.

The Global War on Terror
War on Terrorism
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

 (GWOT) has shown the flexibility and responsiveness of the carrier on multiple occasions when land based air was not feasible or able to respond in a timely fashion. After the September 11 terrorist attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

 on the U.S., carriers immediately headed to the Arabian Sea to support Operation Enduring Freedom and took up station, building to a force of three carriers. Their steaming location was closer to the targets in Afghanistan than any land based assets and thereby more responsive. The USS Kitty Hawk
USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)
The supercarrier USS Kitty Hawk , formerly CVA-63, was the second naval ship named after Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the site of the Wright brothers' first powered airplane flight...

 was adapted to be a support base for special operations
Special operations
Special operations are military operations that are considered "special" .Special operations are typically performed independently or in conjunction with conventional military operations. The primary goal is to achieve a political or military objective where a conventional force requirement does...

 helicopters. Carriers were used again in Operation Iraqi Freedom and even provided aircraft to be based ashore on occasion and have done so periodically when special capabilities are needed. This precedent was established during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in the Battle of Guadalcanal and still remains viable today.

Regardless of the debate over viability, the United States has made a major investment in the development of a new carrier class—the Ford-class carriers (formerly designated CVN-X, or the X Carrier)—to replace the existing Nimitz-class carriers
Nimitz class aircraft carrier
The Nimitz-class supercarriers are a class of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy. With an overall length of and full-load displacements of over 100,000 long tons, they are the largest capital ships in the world...

. The new Ford-class carriers are designed to be modular and are easily adaptable as technology and equipment needed on board changes.

See also

  • Modern naval tactics
    Modern naval tactics
    The term modern naval tactics refers to tactical doctrines developed after World War II, following the final obsolescence of the battleship and the development of long-range missiles. Since there has been no major naval conflict since World War II, with the exception of the Falklands War, many of...

  • U.S. Carrier Group tactics
    U.S. Carrier Group tactics
    Naval tactics have played a crucial role in modern battles and wars. The presence of land, changing water depths, weather, detection and electronic warfare, the speed at which actual combat occurs and other factors — especially air power — render naval tactics truly formidable.The basic idea of all...

  • Expeditionary Strike Group
    Expeditionary Strike Group
    The Expeditionary Strike Group, or ESG, is a concept introduced in the U.S. military in the early 1990s, based on the Naval Expeditionary Task Force. The U.S. Navy fields 12 Expeditionary Strike Groups and 11 Carrier Strike Groups, in addition to surface action groups...

  • Amphibious ready group
    Amphibious Ready Group
    An Amphibious Readiness Group of the United States Navy consists of a Navy element—a group of warships known as an amphibious task force —and a landing force of United States Marines , in total about 5,000 people. Together, these elements and supporting units are trained, organized, and equipped...

External links

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