|“||Sir, our aircraft carriers are the pride of the Allied navy. In a moment's notice the carrier's planes can take out any target, quickly and from a very safe distance.
- Eva Lee(src)
The ship carries a contingent of three Hornet VTOL attack jets armed with Hornet homing missiles and a specialized industrial plant capable of repairing, rearming and rebuilding the jets. Before launch, the jets are prepared on the launch pad in front of the ship and are deployed according to the orders of the commanding officer. The carrier has no offensive systems of its own and has to rely on supporting vessels to protect it while it is rearming. The Hornets aren't able to inflict as much damage as the missiles fired by Dreadnoughts and Boomers, but unlike the latter two, it uses separate entities in the form of jets to attack and therefore can actually attack moving targets with better precision. Also, unlike the Dreadnought, it can use its Hornets at close range allowing it to participate in direct naval confrontations. Being an attack jet, the Hornet also gives the carrier a longer striking range than the Dreadnought and Boomer's Missiles. However, Hornets require more time to deliver more warheads to the target, given time for refuel, rearm, launch, and return. Downed jets cannot be replaced as easily as a missile. This gives the carrier a severe disadvantage if it loses its aircraft (as a carrier can only replenish one fighter instead of all three fighters, as one wing). Hornet jets count as a unit (contrary to Dreadnought and Boomer's missile). This enables Hornets to gain promotions. However, downed jets are counted as a unit lost.
Though intimidating, the carrier could be easily sunk by Typhoon Attack Submarines, Boomers, and Giant Squids, as they lacked anti submarine weaponry. They were also vulnerable to aircraft, as Hornets were bombers incapable of engaging air units; it is wise to protect carriers with AEGIS cruisers to protect them from aircraft and rockets. The Hornets could be easily downed by even the lightest of anti-air weaponry, as they had very weak armour. This was evidenced as Soviet commanders can down the Hornets of a carrier with Flak troopers. However, when large numbers of Aircraft Carriers attacked it was difficult to shoot down all of them; unless large amounts of AA units were present.
The carrier itself does not gain veterancy, but the Hornets do.
In skirmish, the aircraft carrier is not used by the AI.
- Yuri's Revenge patch 1.001: Hornets will no longer attack out of range targets when switching targets while they are firing their missiles.
Note: in Red Alert 2, the aircraft carrier shares its quotes with the destroyer.
- Aircraft carrier responding.
- Flight deck cleared.
- Preparin' jets for takeoff.
- Pride of the Allied Navy!
- The largest ship in the fleet.
- Charting path.
- Slow and steady.
- Hold the course.
- New heading set.
- Coordinates confirmed.
When ordered to attack
- Hornets in the air!
- Commencing attack run!
- Release the swarm!
- Naval airfleet engaging!
- We have a target!
- A modified stock model of the USS Tarawa was used for the alpha icon and the final icon is almost the same as the beta cameo, except the bottom of the ship was duplicated to make space for the text.
- The in-game aircraft carriers have similarities with "sea-control ship" projects, that were developed in the 1970s. These projects are proposed the cheap, mass-produced aircraft carrier with very small displacement, intended for the use of VTOL planes.
- It is possible to promote an aircraft carrier itself all the way to elite using marine crates. The carrier's sole special bonus when veteran is
STRONGER,SIGHT,FASTER; for elite it's only self-healing since bonuses don't stack.
- The Carrier also has
FIREPOWER,ROFbonuses, but these don't apply to the Carrier because of the Carrier's weapon mechanics: the Carrier's weapon only sets the range for spawning the Hornets, everything else is part of the
- The Carrier also has