The United States Navy – The most powerful in the world

The statistics of the US Navy are mind blowing. It is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. As such it is the largest and most powerful navy in the world, with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world’s largest aircraft carrier fleet, with ten in service, four in the reserve fleet and three new carriers under construction. 325,143 personnel are employed on active duty, with 107,355 more in the Navy Reserve. There are 271 deployable combat ships and more than 3600 aircraft in active service as from June 2015.

Top Ten Countries With Highest Defence Budget

If we look at the military expenditure of the main world powers in 2014, it just goes to prove how seriously the US takes the defence of their country. Their total military expenditure was nearly $600 billion, more than that of the next nine countries put together:

Top 10 budget


The Ships Of The US Navy

The US Navy uses at least a dozen different types of ships to complete operations within the United States and around the world. Each of these vessels has unique features making them valuable within different contexts.

Some of the naval ships are Commissioned, by way of ceremony and have the prefix “USS” standing for United States Ship. These include :-

  • 1 Afloat forward staging base
  • 10 Aircraft carriers
  • 9 Amphibious assault ships
  • 2 Amphibious command ships
  • 2 Amphibious transport docks
  • 53 Attack submarines
  • 14 Ballistic missile submarines
  • 1 Classic frigate
  • 22 Cruisers
  • 62 Destroyers
  • 12 Dock landing ships
  • 3 Frigates
  • 4 Guided missile submarines
  • 4 Littoral combat ships
  • 11 Mine countermeasures ships
  • 2 Submarine tenders

Total – 235

Ships that are Non-commissioned have the prefix “USNS”, standing for United Staes Naval Ship. These include :-

  • 1 Cable repair ship
  • 14 Dry cargo ships
  • 3 Fast combat support ships
  • 4 Fleet ocean tugs
  • 1 Fuel tanker
  • 2 High speed transports
  • 2 Hospital ships
  • 2 Instrumentation ships
  • 5 Joint high speed vessels
  • 12 Maritime prepositioning ships
  • 2 Mobile landing platforms
  • 5 Ocean surveillance ships
  • 15 Replenishment oilers
  • 4 Salvage ships
  • 6 Survey ships
  • 19 Vehicle cargo ships

Total - 97

Added to these are the 33 Support ships (MV, RV or no prefix), and the 51 Ready Reserve Force ships (MV, SS, or GTS)…..

A grand total of 416. Pretty impressive!

Some Individual Stars

USS Zumwalt - the largest destroyer ever made. “The ship that has one foot in the present and one in the future”.

With a price tag of $7 billion, a fearsome array of weapons and radar evading silhouette, Zumwalt is America’s most expensive and most deadly warship ever. Its engine produces 78 megawatts – enough to power 78,000 homes. With a length of 600 feet, a 106 foot high, $40 million Ultra Hall had to be built to accommodate its huge hull segments. The vessel is 100 feet longer than the previous class of destroyers, but is so expensive that only three are expected to be built, although the original plan was for twenty. It features an unusual wave-piercing hull, electric drive propulsion, advanced sonar and guided missiles and a new type of gun that fires rocket-propelled warheads as far as 100 miles. With these attributes the Zumwalt should maintain US naval supremacy for decades. The unusual name comes from Admiral Zumwalt who served in destroyers during World War II and was awarded a Bronze Star for valour at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He was the youngest chief of naval operations, appointed at the age of 49 and he fought to end racial discrimination and allowed women to serve on ships for the first time.

Zumwalt’s statistics:

Displacement: 14,564 tons

Length: 600 ft (180m)

Beam: 80.7 ft (24.6m)

Draft: 27.6 ft (8.4m)

Propulsion: 2 Rolls-Royce Marine Trent-30 gas turbines driving Curtiss-Wright generators and emergency diesel generators, 78 MW (105,000shp); 2 propellers driven by electric motors.

Speed: Over 30 kn (56km/h; 35mph)

Weapons: 20xMK 57 VLS modules, with a total of 80 launch cells; RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), 4 per cell; Tactical Tomahawk, 1 per cell; Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket (ASROC, 1 per cell; 2x155mm/62 caliber Advanced Gun System, 920x155mm rounds total; 600 in automated store with Auxiliary store room with up to 320 rounds; 2xMk 110 57 mm gun (CIGS)

Computers: There are so many and so much automation that the ship can operate with a much smaller crew of 158, nearly half the complement of previous destroyers.

Nimitz CVN-68 – the biggest aircraft carrier in the US Navy

Famous for its large capacity and unique features, it has been working for many years and is the first of the series of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers named the “Nimitz Class”. It has a huge hospital with 80 beds and six doctors; it has the capacity to store food for 90 days for its workers and 4 distilling units make 400,000 gallons of freshwater per day.


Length: 333m (1,092ft); waterline length 317m

Displacement: over 100,000 long tons

Power: A$W pressurised water reactors driving four propeller shafts

Speed: maximum speed of over 56km/h

Range: almost unlimited due to the use of nuclear power.

Weapons: the carrier is defended by a huge range of weapons including missile launchers, missile defence cannons; decoy launchers; torpedo countermeasures system and electronic warfare systems.

The Biggest US Submarine – not the biggest in the world

Not as large as Russian’s Typhoon Class or their newer Borei Class, the 3rd biggest Ohio Class, is the largest ever built for the US Navy. They operate 18 of these nuclear powered submarines, the first one being commissioned into service in 1981.


Length: 560ft (170m)

Beam: 42ft (13m)

Draught: 35.5ft (10.8m)

Displacement: 18,750t

Speed: on the surface-12kt; under water-20kt

Power: one S8G pressurised nuclear reactor; 2 geared turbines:1 auxiliary diesel motor

Weapons: 24 Trident missiles and four 53cm Mark 48 torpedo tubes.

Range: limited only by food supplies


President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace.”

Author - Dee White

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