A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace”Theodore Roosevelt

The race to conquer 70% of the earth is not a new phenomenon; empires have waged wars and fought battles to dominate the seas. Great Britain that ruled more than half the world had the most powerful navy consequently global influence and supremacy.

What Constitutes the Navy of A Nation?

The dictionary defines navy as the complete body of warships, together with the personnel, equipment, etc., constituting the sea power of a nation.

Function of a Navy

The navy of a nation plays a two-pronged role in the modern times. At war, it protects sea-lanes and attacks the other navies. During peacetime, the navy protects the trading ports and cargo ships and maintains the security in the territorial waters.

Navy like the army and air force has a multi-tasked force. With a fleet of aircraft carriers, warships, and submarines. Its amphibians are designed to deliver troops and armoured vehicles to hostile shores or counter attack the enemy on its own country’s territory.

The 10 Most powerful Navies in the World 2021

The offensive and defensive assets of a country’s navy; the aircraft carriers and ballistic missiles, helicopter carriers, corvettes, frigates, amphibious, active personnel and the allocated budget are the variables decide the position of a nation, not just the total number of ships in the fleet!

The following is the list of the 10 most powerful navies 2021

USA Navy
  1. The USA Fleet with around 490 naval assets :
  • Aircraft Carriers: 11
  • Helicopter Carriers: 10
  • Amphibious warships: 34
  • Destroyers: 92
  • Frigates: 0
  • Corvette: 22
  • Submarine: 68
  • Patrol Vessels: 13
  • Mine warfare: 8
  • Active Personnel: 4,000,000
  • Naval Aviation: 3,900 aircrafts

The US Navy holds the distinction of the most powerful and capable navy in the world.

The star of the US fleet –The stealthy and technologically advanced destroyers. These are the largest destroyers ever built, primarily deployed for land attack.

The most converted by the USA and feared by the enemy – the nuclear – powered submarine and the nuclear tipped intercontinental ballistic missile submarines.

The Russian Navy

2. The Russian Navy Fleet -around 606 naval assets

  • Aircraft Carriers: 2
  • Helicopter Carriers: 0
  • Amphibious warships: 52
  • Destroyers: 18
  • Frigates: 11
  • Corvette: 85
  • Submarine: 64
  • Patrol Vessels: 55
  • Mine warfare: 36
  • Active Personnel: 1,500,000 (approximately)
  • Naval Aviation: 359 plus aircrafts

Russia has the second strongest navy.

The backbone is the nuclear -powered submarines, its marine infantry and the ballistic missile submarines which are capable of carrying and launching nuclear-tipped intercontinental missiles.


3. Peoples Liberation Army Navy fleet 777 naval assets

  • Aircraft Carriers:
  • Helicopter Carriers
  • Amphibious warships
  • Destroyers
  • Frigates
  • Corvette
  • Submarine
  • Patrol Vessels
  • Mine warfare
  • Active Personnel
  • Naval Aviation

China is fast emerging as a global player, building battle ships and submarines at a rapid rate. Though it has more ships in its fleet than USA it is not as sophisticated but with the rapid expansion it shows the promise to challenge the mightiest navy.

4. Indian Navy Fleet about 285 naval assets

  • Aircraft Carriers: 2
  • Helicopter Carriers: 0
  • Amphibious warships: 6
  • Destroyers:10
  • Frigates: 13
  • Corvette: 23
  • Submarine: 17
  • Patrol Vessels: 139
  • Mine warfare: 13
  • Active Personnel: 67,300
  • Naval Aviation: 300 aircrafts

Formally called the Royal Indian Navy. the Indian Navy has emerged as a formidable South Asian Naval force.

The Indian fleet with two aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and the extremely sophisticated, indigenously manufactured INS Vikrant.

It also operates the world’s most capable destroyers; the 20 corvettes protect the coaster area.

India is among the only 5 other countries that have the technical know- know and builds nuclear powered submarines.

It is also among the few countries that operate two nuclear powered submarines.

Indian Navy is steadily modernizing and strengthening its influence as a Marine time power.

Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force

5.Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force around155 naval assets

  • Aircraft Carriers: 0
  • Helicopter Carriers: 4
  • Amphibious warships: 7
  • Destroyers: 37
  • Frigates: 0
  • Corvette: 6
  • Submarine: 20
  • Patrol Vessels: 6
  • Mine warfare: 21
  • Active Personnel: 50,800
  • Naval Aviation operates: 345 aircrafts.

The Japanese Navy is the 5th strongest navy in the world. The Japanese navy operates a small fleet of state -of – the -art warships and most sophisticated and advanced submarines.

The navy is only for the purpose of self-defence. Japan does not own or operate any nuclear submarine, by constitution the navy is for self-defence purpose only.

Republic of Korea Navy

6.Republic of Korea Navy Fleet around 234 naval assets

  • Aircraft Carriers: 1
  • Helicopter Carriers: 1
  • Amphibious warships: 34
  • Destroyers: 12
  • Frigates: 14
  • Corvette: 12
  • Submarine: 22
  • Patrol Vessels: 26
  • Mine warfare: 11
  • Active Personnel: 70,000

With proximity to volatile North Korea and threat of war South Korea has emerged as a powerful marine force.

Interestingly, the entire South Korea Naval fleet is designed and manufactured in the homeland.

The tremendous growth in the nation’s economy has given the impetus to develop and manufacture still more technologically superior warships and weapons.

French Naval Fleet

7. French Naval Fleet around 180 naval assets

  • Aircraft Carriers: 1
  • Helicopter Carriers: 3
  • Amphibious warships: 3
  • Destroyers: 11
  • Frigates: 11
  • Corvette: 0
  • Submarine: 10
  • Patrol Vessels: 15
  • Mine warfare: 17
  • Active Personnel: 36,000 (approximately)
  • Naval Aviation: 210 aircrafts.

The French Marine Nationale is the world’s oldest, it helped establish and played a vital role in expansion of the French Empire around the world.

Charles de Gaulle is the only nuclear -powered warship, outside USA, it also has the most formidable nuclear weapons in its arsenal.

Royal Navy United Kingdom

8. Royal Navy United Kingdom Fleet around 88 naval assets

  • Aircraft Carriers: 2
  • Helicopter Carriers: 0
  • Amphibious warships: 6
  • Destroyers: 6
  • Frigates: 13
  • Corvette: 0
  • Submarine: 11
  • Patrol Vessels: 25
  • Mine warfare: 33,800
  • Active Personnel

The Great Britain- the mightiest empire of the world for almost 200 years, was built on the might of the Royal navy.

The royal navy builds almost all its warships; hence, it has the most modern fleet.

Its nuclear missiles mounted on each of the submarines, and have the capacity to wipe out the entire countries 3 times over!

Interesting fact, HMS Victory is the world’s oldest naval ship still in commission completing 243 years in 2021.

Italian Navy

9.Italian Navy Fleet around 249 naval assets

  • Aircraft Carriers: 2
  • Helicopter Carriers: 0
  • Amphibious warships: 3
  • Destroyers: 4
  • Frigates: 12
  • Corvette: 5
  • Submarine: 6
  • Patrol Vessels: 16
  • Mine warfare: 10
  • Active Personnel: 31,000
  • Naval Aviation: 70 aircrafts are operated by the Italian air force.

The Italian navy was called the Royal Navy till the Second World War.

The Italian Navy fleet has all types of warships, its aircraft carrier can operate aircraft as well as helicopter and also transport military personnel and vehicles.

Over the next few years, The Italian navy has set sights on becoming a more formidable force.

Taiwan Navy

10. Taiwan Navy Fleet around 117 naval assets

  • Aircraft Carriers: 0
  • Helicopter Carriers: 1
  • Amphibious warships: 3
  • Destroyers: 4
  • Frigates: 22
  • Corvette: 1
  • Submarine: 4
  • Patrol Vessels: 43
  • Mine warfare: 10
  • Active Personnel: 38,000
  • Naval Aviation: 28

With a strong adversary like China eying to occupy Taiwan the navy made significant upgrade in the last twenty years; this small nation now has a powerful navy.

The small fleet has the power to defend its nations boarders and seas.