The Shinano was initially laid down in May 1940 to become the third Yamato class battleship. However, after the Battle of Midway it was to become an aircraft carrier. The Shinano was to be one of two Japanese carriers that would have an armored flight deck.
It was intended the Shinano would be more of a maintenance carrier that would support other carriers with stocks of bombs, torpedoes, fuel, spare parts, aircraft, and other supplies. There would be aircraft carried that would be for local defense.
The flight deck had two elevators installed. There were no catapults.
The Shinano had one divided hangar deck 550' long. In the front section there was storage for 47 aircraft. The rear section had rolling shutters on the sides that could be opened. Spare parts and spare aircraft would be carried in the rear section.