Since the advent of World War 2, aircraft carriers have been seen as an important sea battle arm and over a period of time, its utility has been enhanced by the world Navies due to its diverse mission sets. The evolution of aircraft carrier from wooden vessels to nuclear powered warships, carrying both fixed and rotary wing aircrafts, signifies it as an unpredictable wartime asset that no land based system can replicate.
The aircraft carrier is a sea based aviation platform which plays multiple roles including power projection, land attack from sea, securing Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs), security of island territories, foreign diplomacy and other non-combat operations. The carrier holds its prestige and assumed to be an important component by Navies as indispensable to their strategic assets vis-à-vis their strategic and global objectives.
However, it is the most complex among all warships and importantly one of the most expensive sea asset, which stirs the traditional debate among policy makers over the desirability of investing in aircraft carriers.