Aircraft Carrier Hull Type

There are several systems of symbol identification in use for aircraft carriers that have been used around the globe since national fleets have been developing.

Such systems, such as the pennant numbers used by the British Royal Navy and some other Commonwealth countries or the Canadian “hull classification symbols”, or the US “Hull classification symbols” used by the NATO and other countries.

US hull classification symbols for aircraft carriers and related types

Symbol

Designation

CV Generic aircraft carrier
CVA Attack carrier
CVAN Nuclear-powered attack carrier
CVE Escort carrier
CVG Flight deck cruiser (proposed)
CVHA Aircraft carrier, Helicopter Assault (retired)
CVHE Aircraft carrier, Helicopter, Escort (retired)
CVL Light aircraft carrier
CVN Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
CVS Anti-submarine warfare carrier
CVV Aircraft Carrier, Medium (proposed)
LHA Landing Helicopter Assault, a type of Amphibious assault ship
LHD Landing Helicopter Dock, a type of Amphibious assault ship
LPH Landing Platform Helicopter, a type of Amphibious assault ship

Example of Hull marking

USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN 71 Sea Trials – Photo by LaMar Smith