U.S. aircraft carrier classes – U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (left) and Philippine Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin shake hands on a Marine Corps V-22 Osprey as they depart the the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) after touring the aircraft carrier as it sailed in the South China Sea on April 15, 2016. The Pentagon announced on Friday that China has denied the Stennis a port call in Hong Kong. Click through the gallery to see other Navy carriers.
Shipbuilders in Newport News, Virginia, prepare to flood a dry dock, on November 9, 2013, to float what will be the USS Gerald R. Ford, the first ship in the U.S. Navy's newest class of aircraft carriers.
A photo illustration of the U.S. Navy's Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). The ship's keel laying ceremony was celebrated Saturday, August 22, 2015, in Newport News, Virginia. The ship is expected to replace the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), scheduled for inactivation in 2025, in the Navy fleet. The newest Kennedy will be the second carrier of that name. The first John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) was the last conventionally powered carrier. It was decommissioned in 2007.
Sailors test the countermeasure washdown system on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) during sea trials prior to returning to its homeport at Naval Station Norfolk in late August 2015.
The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) passes under the Friendship Bridge while transiting the Suez Canal on Dec. 14, 2015. The ship is conducting operations in the Persian Gulf, where Iran claims to have taken footage of the carrier using a drone. Click through the gallery for more images of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.
Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman V. Sek, assigned to the "Jolly Rogers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103, applies a Christmas decal to an F/A-18F Super Hornet in the hangar bay of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in December 2015.
Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, the Nimitz-class USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), man the rails while participating in the South Korean Navy's Fleet Review on October 23 in Busan.
Sailors spell out #USA with the American flag on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Persian Gulf in late June 2015. When the Roosevelt leaves the Gulf sometime in October, the U.S. Navy will be without a carrier in the important region for two months.
Three Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), top, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), center, and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) are pierside at Naval Air Station North Island near San Diego on June 12, 2015. The Vinson has just recently returned from a 10-month deployment. The Reagan is preparing for a move to Japan later this year and the Stennis was making a port call after steaming from its homeport of Bremerton, Washington.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt departs Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, on Wednesday, March 11, for a scheduled deployment. The Nimitz-class carrier's departure was delayed for two days after marine growth clogged sea water intakes. Divers went into the 36-degree water to clean out the intakes and allow the ship to get under way. The cold water created a fog that made it seem the ship was in a cloud.
A rainbow forms over the bow of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis as the ship steams in the Pacific Ocean on February 3, 2015.
The USS Abraham Lincoln, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, is seen near the coast of Indonesia in 2005. The carrier recently received a new anchor from the decommissioned USS Enterprise.
Lightning strikes over the flight deck of the USS John C. Stennis, another Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, as the ship moves through the Persian Gulf in 2007. All of the Navy's 10 active aircraft carriers are from the Nimitz class, which started in 1975 with the commission of the USS Nimitz.
The USS Ranger (CV-61) arrives at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1993. The Forrestal-class carrier, which featured in the movie "Top Gun," is to be scrapped this year.
In this photo released by the U.S. Navy, a tugboat works alongside the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Saratoga on Thursday, August 21, in Newport, Rhode Island. The Navy has paid a Texas recycling company a penny to dispose of the Saratoga, part of the Forrestal-class of "supercarrier" vessels built for the Atomic Age. The carrier was decommissioned 20 years ago.
Aircrew members are lifted from the flight deck of the USS John F. Kennedy during an exercise in 2002. The ship, which was decommissioned in 2007, was the only member of its class.
An F/A-18 Hornet launches from the USS Enterprise in 2007. The Enterprise, the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was decommissioned in 2012. Like the John F. Kennedy, it was the only ship built in its class.
The Kitty Hawk class was named for the USS Kitty Hawk, seen here departing Yokosuka, Japan, in 2008. At that time, the Kitty Hawk was the oldest carrier in the U.S. Navy and the only conventional-power aircraft carrier still in commission. It was decommissioned in 2009.
The USS Independence, a member of the Forrestal class that preceded the Kitty Hawk class, heads up the East River in New York in 1959.
Helicopters sit on the flight deck of the USS Saipan during the mid-1950s. The ship was one of two members of the Saipan class.
The USS Midway, namesake of the Midway class of aircraft carriers, floats off the coast of North Vietnam in 1972. It was named after the Battle of Midway, when U.S. forces held back a Japanese attempt to take the Pacific atoll in 1942.
The USS Princeton, part of the Independence class, moves off the coast of Seattle in 1944.
The Essex-class USS Franklin burns after being hit by a Japanese dive bomber in 1945. The ship was named after Benjamin Franklin and nicknamed "Big Ben."
The USS Wasp burns in the Coral Sea after being struck by three torpedoes from a Japanese submarine in 1942. The ship, the only one of its class, would ultimately sink because of the damage.
B-25 bombers sit on the deck of the USS Hornet in the Pacific Ocean in 1942. The Hornet, one of three carriers in the Yorktown class, was the ship that launched the bombers flown by Air Force Lt. Col. James Doolittle and his pilots during an air raid in Tokyo four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It also was involved in the Battle of Midway.
Navy personnel work on board the USS Ranger circa 1942. The Ranger was the first ship to be designed and built specifically as an aircraft carrier. It was the only ship in its class.
There have actually been two aircraft carriers named after the Revolutionary War's Battle of Saratoga. The first USS Saratoga, seen here moving toward San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge in 1945, was one of two members of the Lexington class of aircraft carriers.
The USS Langley, the Navy's first aircraft carrier and sole member of its class, steams off the coast of Baltimore in 1924.