The Shajaea-class Light Aircraft Carrier is one of the older capital vessels in service with the Sultan's Navy, and had been the backbone of the Naval Aviation ever since the Late Decolonization Wars.
First Life (1951-1973)
The 'First Life' of most of the Shajaea-class Light Aircraft Carriers started between 1951 and 1955, when the vessels were built.
They were the first Kyrenaian aircraft carriers built with flight decks and steam catapults from the planning stages, as well as radars.
After the end of the Decolonization Wars, the First Life ended in 1973, when, due to budget cuts, the Sultan's Navy was cut down in size by Razia-Sultana Umm Albilad, most of the Light Carriers being placed in reserve.
During their first life, the Shajaea-class Light Aircraft Carriers carried up to 45 aircraft, although that number was rarely reached. Usually, in lieu with the air support missions usually flown during the Decolonization Wars, the Shajaea-class Light Aircraft Carriers carried a major complement of reconnaissance and attack planes and, usually, only little in the ways of fighters.
The standard complement for a Shajaea-class Light Aircraft Carriers in 1955 consisted of 24 Kyrenaian Aircraft Factories KAF-15 Esfwr Dive Bombers, 10 Kyrenaian Aircraft Factories KAF-109 Tayrih Fighters and six Kyrenaian Aircraft Factories KAF-31 Sahaleyn Reconnaissance Planes.
Starting in 1961, the standard air group was reduced to 18 Kyrenaian Aircraft Factories KAF-4 Altuyalkatif Light Fleet Combat Aircraft and six Kyrenaian Aircraft Factories KAF-31 Sahaleyn Reconnaissance Planes. However, due to their large weight and the short flight deck length, the KAF-4 could either not take off fully loaded or had to use the catapults to do that.
Second Life (1982-today)
The Second Life began in 1982, when one of the carriers was reactivated and usage of these vessels as Support- or ASW-Carriers began.
During the Second Life, the Air Group consisted of up to 30 aerial vehicles, from helicopters to VTOLs to smaller jets.
- RKN Shajaea (decommissioned in 1999 after flight accident).
- RKN Alaibhibu (Loving Son, formerly Carrier Group 9, nowadays 29th Destroyer Division).