Fleet carrier
A fleet carrier is 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...

 that is designed to operate with the main fleet of a nation's navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

. The term was developed during the Second World War, to distinguish it from the escort carrier and other lesser types. Fleet carriers include supercarrier
Supercarrier is an unofficial descriptive term for the largest type of aircraft carrier, usually displacing over 70,000 long tons.Supercarrier is an unofficial descriptive term for the largest type of aircraft carrier, usually displacing over 70,000 long tons.Supercarrier is an unofficial...

s and light carriers (light fleet carriers), as well as standard fleet carriers.

The idea of a modern fleet carrier was developed in 1931 by Admirals J.J. Clark
Joseph J. Clark
Admiral Joseph James "Jocko" Clark, USN was an admiral in the United States Navy, who commanded aircraft carriers during World War II. A native of Oklahoma, Clark was a member of the Cherokee tribe...

 and Harvey E. Yarnell of the US Navy. Fleet carriers instead of operating as scouts for the fleet, would operate in unison with the fleet, to ward off air attacks, and to strike opposing forces from the air. Cruisers and destroyers would protect fleet carriers. The place of fleet carriers would then displace dreadnaught
Dreadnaught may mean:* Edward Boscawen , Admiral in the Royal Navy, was given the nickname "Old Dreadnaught"In film:* Dreadnaught , a Yuen Woo-Ping film from 1981...

s and 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...

s as the preeminent assets of the surface fleet. A fleet carrier would carry over 50 aircraft, and be fast enough to keep up with other major elements of the fleet, such as cruisers and battleships.

In WWII, a fleet carrier usually carried three squadrons, typically, a fighter squadron, torpedo bomber
Torpedo bomber
A torpedo bomber is a bomber aircraft designed primarily to attack ships with aerial torpedoes which could also carry out conventional bombings. Torpedo bombers existed almost exclusively prior to and during World War II when they were an important element in many famous battles, notably the...

 squadron, and a dive bomber
Dive bomber
A dive bomber is a bomber aircraft that dives directly at its targets in order to provide greater accuracy for the bomb it drops. Diving towards the target reduces the distance the bomb has to fall, which is the primary factor in determining the accuracy of the drop...


See also

Non-fleet carriers
  • Seaplane tender
    Seaplane tender
    A seaplane tender is a ship that provides facilities for operating seaplanes. These ships were the first aircraft carriers and appeared just before the First World War.-History:...

  • Escort carrier
  • 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....

  • List of aircraft carriers
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