The New Aircraft carriers for UK, Japan, USA, China and India by 2020

The estimated cost for the UK of building the two large aircraft carriers has almost doubled to more than £6bn. The F-35 programme, meanwhile, has faced serious technical problems and the cost of the aircraft has spiralled to an estimated £70m each.

HMS Prince of Wales is the second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier under construction for the Royal Navy, with plans for active service from 2020. The Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers are unique among world aircraft carriers in having two islands, the forward one housing the main bridge for ship control and the aft island is for air control.

Britain’s order of 14 planes is expected to cost £2.5bn if running costs are included. The original plan was to buy 138 F-35s. To save money, the MoD dropped plans to buy the “cats and traps” – catapult launch and arrester wire landing – version of the F-35.

The Queen Elizabeth class (70,600 tonnes) can carry up to 40 Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II multirole jets, but a more likely airwing is 12 or 24 F-35B and a helicopter group of anti-submarine AW101 Merlins and troop transport helicopters.

HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier is finashed construction

Prince of Wales Dec 1, 2014 under construction

Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force on Wednesday took delivery of the biggest Japanese warship since World War Two, the Izumo (19,500 tonnes and 24,000 tonnes at full load), a helicopter carrier as big as the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers that battled the United States in the Pacific. It could carry 20 airplanes.

The Vikrant (40000 ton) is a class of two aircraft carriers being built for the Indian Navy. It will be commissioned in 2018.

Gerald R. Ford classis a class of supercarriers currently being built to replace some of the United States Navy’s existing Nimitz-class carriers. The Gerald R. Ford CVN-78 launched November 2013 and will be commissioned 2016. The Enterprise (CVN-65) John F. Kennedy will launch 2018 and be commissioned in 2020.