Carrier Aviation in the 21st Century: Aircraft Carriers and Their Units in Detail

By Ellis, Steven D. | Air Power History, Spring 2019 | Go to article overview

Carrier Aviation in the 21st Century: Aircraft Carriers and Their Units in Detail


Ellis, Steven D., Air Power History


Carrier Aviation in the 21st Century: Aircraft Carriers and Their Units in Detail. Thomas Newdick, ed. Houston Texas: Harpia Publishing, 2017. Tables. Diagrams. Illustrations. Photographs. Appendices. Pp 252. $64.95 paperback. ISBN: 978-0-9973092-2-5

This collection of nine essays describes the state of carrier aviation as of late 2017 for nine different nations: Brazil, China, France, India, Italy, Spain, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Each nation's capabilities are detailed by a different writer. For the most part, Newdick, who also is editor- in-chief of the United Kingdom's well-regarded Airforces Monthly magazine, has done a fine job of bringing consistency to each chapter--never an easy task when working with a variety of writers. In addition, some of the contributors probably lacked the convenience of expressing themselves in their native language.

As might be expected, about one quarter of the content is devoted to the US. Navy. No other country has more than one aircraft carrier, though China and the UK are expected to each add a second one within the next several years.

The chapter on Italy provides an example of how the content is organized. The text begins with an historical review of carrier aviation in the Italian navy followed by a discussion of vessels currently in active service. Here things grow a bit murky, since an amphibious assault ship, the Garibaldi, is introduced into the conversation along with the far more capable Cavour. However, the Garibaldi was omitted from the appendix listing carrier characteristics, while the U.S. Navy's Wasp amphibious-assault class was included. The ship's various radar and ancillary suites are mentioned. …

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