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USS Saratoga and her sister ship USS Lexington were the two largest aircraft carriers in the world until 1944. The keel of the battle cruiser USS Saratoga (CV-3) was laid by New York Shipbuilding in Camden, New Jersey, on 25 September 1920. Work on the fast, formidably armed battle cruiser was suspended in February 1922, when the Washington Naval Conference negotiated limits on warship sizes and numbers. Once the accord was signed, the decision was made to covert the 28 percent complete Saratoga into an aircraft carrier, the same fate befell her sister ship Lexington. Launched as an aircraft carrier on 7 April 1925, she became the largest ship of that type afloat. Saratoga revolutionary turboelectric drive and hull design allowed her to operate at 33 knots, either forward or backward, a trait believed to be useful in the event of combat damage to either end of her flight deck.
Designed and Running on Cyrane Systems