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An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations. They have evolved from wooden vessels used to deploy balloons into nuclear-powered warships that carry dozens of fixed wing and rotary-wing aircraft. Aircraft carriers are typically the capital ship of a fleet, and are extremely expensive to build and important to protect. Of the ten nations that possess an aircraft carrier, seven possess only one. Twenty-one aircraft carriers are currently active throughout the world with the USN operating 11 as of June 20.
In the Battlefield series, the Aircraft Carrier is usually the spawn-point of a faction.