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Chakri Nareubet (จักรีนฤเบศร)

Thai.Chakri the Brave’. Name of Thailand's first and only aircraft carrier, and though by some considered the flagship of the Royal Thai Navy, it has hardly ever left its naval base and homeport in Satthahip (Chonburi), due to lack of funding and operational aircraft suitable for this type of vessel, which is fitted with a ski-jump at its bow and is designed to operate only certain types of fighter aircraft, able of Vertical or Short Takeoff and Landing, such as the Harrier Jump Jet, as well as most types of helicopter. Its construction began in October 1993 in Spain and it was commissioned on 27 March 1997, after being officially  launched on 20 January 1996 by Queen Sirikit. It sails under the hull code CVH 911, of which the letters indicate it is an aircraft carrier (CV) with helicopters (H). The code CV derives from the words Cruiser (C) and Voler (V), a French word that means ‘to fly’. The vessel weighs around 11,000 tons, is 182.65 meters long, with a flight deck of 174.1 meters, and can reach a speed of 25.5 knots (47.2 km/h). At a speed of just 12 knots (22 km/h), it has a range of 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km). Its main assignment is to provide operational support during warfare and the patrolling of Thailand's coastal waters, though other duties may include assistance in disaster relief and humanitarian missions, such as its deployment during the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, and providing search-and-rescue operations, as well as evacuation of Thai citizens from danger zones abroad. The Thai word nareubet literally means ‘best of men’ or ‘brave man’. In Thai, it is fully known as Reua Luang Chakri Nareubet (เรือหลวงจักรีนฤเบศร). Often spelled Chakri Naruebet. See also POSTAGE STAMP.