For centuries, powerful warships have acted as symbols of national prestige and have helped in sending messages of strength to the world. Water is the history’s second oldest battlefield in the world. The navy or the maritime forces is the branch of a country’s armed forces that help in safeguarding the nation on water bodies from external threats. Ships, destroyers, frigates, aircraft carriers, military vessels, submarines and the related aviation forces are the backbone of a navy. Also, these watercraft come equipped with powerful weapons, bombs and missiles. Some countries like the USA and Russia even have ships that are fit with nuclear capable missiles and weapons. A countries navy power index is estimated with its fleet size, economy, combating capabilities, the technology used and the man-power. Today, we will check the world’s ten most powerful and dangerous naval forces.
Here goes the list of 10 most powerful navies in the world that when combined can destroy the world:
10. Republic of China Navy, Taiwan
ROCN or the Republic of China Navy is the naval branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. It is also called as the Taiwan navy. The main motto of the ROCN is to protect Taiwan against attacks or possible invasion by the People’s Liberation Army of the People’s Republic of China. Due to the growing tension from China, the ROCN has taken many counter combating training and measures to ensure protection. The country possess a fleet consisting of hi-tech destroyers, frigates, Fast Attack Missile Crafts, patrol ships, submarines, support ships, minesweepers and many amphibious ships and auxiliary ships. The country also has aircraft department within its navy.
9. Italian Navy, Italy
Italian Navy is one of the world’s most powerful navy that has more than 30,000 active marine soldiers, 180+ vessels and 70 aircraft. From 1890s, Italy has been building many advanced and modern battleships. One of the most powerful was the battleship Roma from 1940. Prior to 1946, the Italian Navy was known as Regia Marina (Royal Navy). In 1881, the battleship Caio Duilio was commissioned, followed in 1882 by the battleship Enrico Dandolo; at the time these were the most powerful warships in the world. Following the Peace Treaty signed on 10 February 1947 in Paris led to the decommissioning of many powerful battleships, cruisers and destroyers. Due to the strategic geographical position of Italy, Italian seas became one of the main sites of confrontation between the superpowers United Kingdom and Russia contributing to its re-emergence.
8. Republic of Korea Navy, South Korea
Republic of Korea Navy is the maritime force of the South Korean armed forces. The rough relationship of South Korea and North Korea has contributed in building of an impressive and powerful navy. The Sejong the Great-class destroyers (KD-III) are the most powerful guided missile destroyers possessed by the navy. The ROKN established in 1945, is the oldest branch of South Korean armed forces. ROK has steadily upgraded its naval forces since the 90s. Previously, the navy engaged in Korean War and Vietnam War. ROKN aims of becoming a blue-water navy by 2020.
7. French Navy, France
Currently, the powerful French Navy is deteriorating slowly. In the future, we may either see a surprising re-emergence or further deterioration. French Navy is a blue-water navy with a powerful fleet and its long rich history dates back to 1624. French Navy is one of the world’s oldest naval forces. The French Navy is primarily involved in maintaining intelligence, protecting populations, preventing crises, intervening wherever necessary to re-establish peace, fighting against terrorism and dissuading any threats against vital French interests. The nuclear capable nation has aircraft carriers and submarines that are nuclear-powered. The huge navy is still powerful and may rise anytime.
6. Royal Navy, United Kingdom
The Royal Navy is the maritime forces of the United Kingdom. The Royal Navy was found in the year 1660, but the naval forces were in use as early as 9th century. In 14th century England used its navy for maritime warfare. From the past many decades, the Royal Navy is competing with the Dutch Navy and French Navy for supremacy. Before the onset of World War II, Royal Navy was the largest and the most powerful. The Royal Navy is nuclear capable which is installed with the latest destroyers, cruisers, frigates, aircraft carriers and submarines. The navy has ballistic missile submarines and nuclear fleet submarines. Due to increasing threats, the navy is still one of the most powerful in the world.
5. Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is one of the most advanced and sophisticated navies in the world. Japan is known for innovating things with a sense of hi-tech sophistication and complexity. Due to increasing threats from the PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy), the JMSDF is building highly lethal weapons of war. JMSDF is expanding its naval capabilities advanced destroyers, frigates, submarines and patrol vessels. The Izumo-class helicopter carrier is one of the most powerful and large carrier of Japan’s navy. Since the country is surrounded by water, Japan has built a large naval fleet to tackle the threats from any direction. The navy also maintains a large naval air force.
4. Indian Navy, India
The Indian Navy is the naval force of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Navy has seen rapid up-gradation and modernization of its aging equipment and warfare systems. The blue-water navy today is powerful enough to hit any targets within Southern Asia. Missiles such as Dhanush for ships and K-15 Sagarika (Oceanic) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) are integrated within the navy. The Indian Navy fleet is large and is the number 4 most powerful navy in the world.
3. People’s Liberation Army Navy, China
The People’s Liberation Army Navy is the 3rd most powerful navy in the world. The navy is close enough and has high potential to overtake the Russian Navy. The navy fleet is one of the largest. It is the second largest navy in the world after United States Navy. The PLA Navy, found in 1950 expanded tremendously after the fall of Soviet Union. During the 1970s and 80s, the PLA Navy started developing nuclear attack submarines (SSN) and nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN). At the 60th anniversary of the PLAN, 52 to 56 vessels were shown in manoeuvres off Qingdao in April 2009 including previously unseen nuclear submarines. The navy is also aided by latest and advanced satellites to help in the surveillance of the sea. The nuclear capable navy also has advanced submarines not much known to the world and is hidden from spy satellites.
2. Russian Navy, Russia
The Russian Navy is the 2nd most powerful maritime force in the world. The powerful Soviet Navy fell after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Russian Navy after the fall of Soviet Union took many years to rise. Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, the Russian Navy regained power and became powerful again. Some sources and analysis say that the Russian naval capabilities are slowing down but certain “irreversible collapse”. The modern Russian Navy is powered with latest nuclear capable submarines, destroyers, battleships, frigates and aircraft carriers.
1. United States Navy, USA
The United States Navy is the world’s most powerful and capable navy in the world. It is also the world’s largest navy, with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage. The United States Navy has the strength of counter-attacking the combined naval forces of Russia and China. The navy is also capable enough of hitting any targets in the world using its Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles. The strength of the United States Navy grew under an ambitious ship building program associated with the Naval Act of 1916. After the World War II, the United States Navy grew stronger and more powerful. The navy also uses latest and advanced technologies in its marine systems not known to the rest of the world.