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SPS Dédalo

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SPS Dédalo (R01) (Spanish for Daedalus) was the first Spanish aircraft carrier and the second aviation ship in the Spanish Navy (after the seaplane tender and balloon ship Dédalo that took part in the landings at Al Hoceima in 1925). She remained the fleet's flagship until the Príncipe de Asturias replaced her. Dédalo was formerly the World War II-era light aircraft carrier USS Cabot (CVL-28), which was acquired from the United States in the 1960s.

In 1967, after over twelve years in mothballs in the United States, Cabot was loaned to Spain. The loan was converted to a sale in 1972. Dédalo initially deployed with the Spanish Navy as an helicopter-only antisubmarine warfare carrier operating the SH-3D Sea King and other helicopters from 1967 to 1976.

After testing in 1972 it was decided to order and deploy short-take-off-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) AV-8S Matadors (AV-8A Harrier) when Dédalo was overhauled. Since the Harriers' downdraft on vertical landing would have damaged the wooden deck, protective metal sheathing was installed on the rear area of the flight deck. The first batch of six AV-8S single seat and two TAV-8S two seat aircraft were delivered to the Armada Española throughout 1976. A second batch of four AV-8S aircraft was delivered in 1980. Unlike some carriers used for Harrier operations, a ski-jump to assist STOVL takeoff was never installed on the Dédalo, limiting the maximum takeoff weight of the Harriers.

She then typically carried an air group of eight AV-8S fighters, four Sea King anti-submarine warfare helicopters and four AB 212ASW Twin Hueys although Sikorsky S-55/CH-19s, AH-1 Cobras, and other specialized helicopters from the Spanish army, air force, and navy flew from her flight deck

Replaced by the locally built STOVL carrier Principe de Asturias in 1988, Dédalo was struck by the Spanish Navy in August 1989 and given to a private organization in the U.S. for use as a museum ship in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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