Ethiopian aircraft carrier Haile Selasse

Haile Selassie in the early 1980s.

The ERNS Haile Selassie (AC-05) is the flagship and currently sole aircraft carrier of the Royal Ethiopian Navy (REN). Originally built for the British Royal Navy as the Audacious-class HMS Eagle (completed in 1951), the carrier was decommissioned in 1972 and purchased from Britain in the summer of 1974. Renamed Haile Selassie after Ethiopia's near-legendary leader, she was refitted for REN use at the Mogadishu Navy Yard from 1976-77 and quickly established that city as her homeport. She operates a limited complement of 30 American-built McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornets; prior to mid-1990, the carrier operated F-4 Phantoms.

The REN has recently approved plans for the construction of its first home-grown carrier, to replace the aging Haile Selassie. The new carrier, yet unnamed, is currently scheduled to be laid down at the Mogadishu yards next fall (1998) and be in commission by the late 2001/early 2002 timeframe.

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