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Aircraft carrier

navy equipped planes airplanes

Aircraft carrier, warship equipped to launch and land airplanes. Planes are launched by steam catapults, and arresting cables are used to bring landing aircraft to a halt. Each ship is equipped with antiaircraft guns and missiles and is protected by its own planes and sister ships. The U.S. Navy's first aircraft carrier went into service in 1922. The U.S. Navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is the Enterprise, launched in 1961, which can carry about 50 airplanes.

See also: Navy; Navy, United States.

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