The CVA-01 aircraft carrier was to be the first of a class of three fleet carriers that would have replaced the Royal Navy's existing aircraft carriers, most of which had been designed prior to or during World War II. CVA01 was intended to replace HMS Victorious and HMS Ark Royal and it was hoped CVA02 and CVA03 would be approved to replace HMS Hermes and HMS Eagle.

Due to the 1966 Defence White Paper the project was cancelled, along with the proposed escort Type 82 destroyers. Inter-service rivalries, the huge cost of the proposed carriers, and the difficulties they would have presented in construction, operation, and maintenance were prime reasons for cancellation. Had these ships been built, it is likely they would have been named HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Duke of Edinburgh or the Invincible class.

Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1962

The CVA-01 would have displaced 54,500 tons (although the ship was said to displace 53,000 tons "in average action condition"), with a flight deck length (including the bridle arrester boom) of 963 ft 3 in (293.60 m) The size of the flight deck, combined with steam catapults and arrester gear would have enabled the carriers to operate the latest jets. The aircraft complement would have included 36 Phantom fighter/ground-attack aircraft and/or Buccaneer low-level strike aircraft, four early-warning aircraft, five anti-submarine helicopters and two search-and-rescue helicopters. The large 'Broomstick' radar dome above the central island on the carrier was planned to be a Type 988 Anglo-Dutch 3D radar, which would subsequently be fitted on the Royal Netherlands Navy Tromp-class frigates, although this would not have been fitted to the final carrier as Britain pulled out of the project.

Operators:  Royal Navy
Preceded by: Audacious-class fleet carrier
Centaur-class light carrier
Succeeded by: Invincible class
Planned: 2
Cancelled: 2
General characteristics
Displacement: 54,500 tons
63,000 at full load
Length: 925 ft (282 m)
Beam: 184 ft (56 m)
Draught: 10.2 m (33 ft)
Propulsion: 6 Admiralty boilers with 3 Parsonssteam turbines providing 135,000 hp (101,000 kW) to three shafts
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Range: 7,000 nautical miles (13,000 km)
Complement: 3,250 plus airgroup
Armament: 1 twin Sea Dart Guided Weapon System 30 launcher, 4 × Sea Cat GWS 20
Armour: unspecified for side and underwater protection
Aircraft carried: Up to 50 aircraft, with the planned airgroup having 18 × Phantom FG.1; 18 × Buccaneer S.2; 4 × Gannet AEW.3; 4 × Sea King HAS.1; 2 ×Wessex HAS.1 (SAR), probably with 1 × Gannet COD.4
Aviation facilities: 2 catapults (reduced from 4), 2 lifts, 1 hangar 650 ft (200 m) by 80 ft (24 m)

End notes