41 pictures that show why a US aircraft carrier is such a dominant force

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Aircraft carriers are the heart of the US Navy. The deck of a carrier is literally a few acres of American territory floating around the world, projecting massive air and seagoing military might.

Carriers are expensive, with new Ford-class ships running about $13 billion, but they last about 50 years.

Business Insider visited the USS Eisenhower during a massive mine clearing effort in the Persian Gulf a few years ago.

The Ike, which is currently undergoing repairs, is the second-oldest US carrier still in service. But as you'll see, her age takes nothing from her powerful presence near foreign soil.

This post is originally by Robert Johnson and Jeremy Bender.