An aircraft carrier is a large capital ship of the GDI.
In the long and colorful history of seafaring vessels, aircraft carriers are a recent arrival. Shortly after the prospect of air travel became more than a novel fantasy, several naval vessels were converted to carry aircraft. It was during the Second World War that aircraft carriers ascended onto the world stage as the primary focus of naval strategy.
Design, Weapons and Systems
The design of GDI's aircraft carriers is much the same as that of earlier such vessels from the last century: A flat runway roughly a quarter-mile in length with an electromagnetic catapult in the center to aid in the launching of aircraft set on top of a traditional hydrodynamic hull and space for more than 100 aircraft of different specializations to be stored beneath the flight deck. Four helipads reside behind the runway. The only difference in hull design is the position of the control tower, which is near the rear of the vessel.
GDI carriers are heavily armed with small weapons that generally consist of 20mm Vulcan cannons, 30mm high-altitude airburst artillery and an assortment of aircraft that all have armaments according to their role. Therefor, a single aircraft carrier is virtually a floating fortress capable of delivering devastating attacks from a safe distance. However, due to the weight of the aircraft, fuel and munitions onboard, the vessels themselves cannot have more than two inches of armor. Again, this gives them a tremendous advantage over Nod naval vessels in speed and maneuverability, but leaves something to be desired in a one-on-one engagement.
The radar-sonar suite aboard GDI carriers is the most advanced in the world. The radar can detect aircraft and surface targets from 150 miles off, leaving the crew plenty of time to prepare. The sonar can locate and track submerged objects from about the same range, giving anti-submarine aircraft a chance to intercept them before a threat can be made. Shorter-range radar arrays are linked to the 20mm Vulcans and 30mm airburst cannons, and can calculate and relay altitude data to the detonators built into the munitions, providing a very tight and accurate defense grid.
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