An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the Diamondbacks of Strike Fighter Squadron One Zero Two (VFA-102), launches.
Pacific Ocean (Aug. 12, 2004) An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the Diamondbacks of Strike Fighter Squadron One Zero Two (VFA-102), launches from the flight deck of the conventionally powered aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk equipped with a Shared Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP). The Shared Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) is a multi-functioned reconnaissance pod used on the F/A-18F Super Hornet for tactical manned airborne reconnaissance. It is capable of simultaneous airborne and ground screening capabilities, and is designed to replace the Navy's Tactical Aerial Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS), which was used with the F-14 Tomcat. Kitty Hawk and embarked Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) are currently conducting operations in the Western Pacific Ocean. U.S. Navy photo by Photographers Mate 3rd Class Jonathan Chandler File# 040812-N-3488C-001
Aircraft carriers are warships that act as airbases for carrier-based aircraft. In the United States Navy, these consist of ships commissioned with hull classification symbols CV (aircraft carrier), CVA (attack aircraft carrier), CVB (large aircraft carrier), CVL (light aircraft carrier), CVN (aircraft carrier (nuclear propulsion) and CVAN (attack aircraft carrier (nuclear propulsion). The first aircraft carrier commissioned into the United States Navy was USS Langley (CV-1) on 20 March 1922.