The 7 most powerful navies in the world have spared no expense in ensuring the safety of their seas, and by proxy, their nations. Any country which has a sea needs a navy in order to protect its shores from other nations and ensure the safety of their own nation. Navies are generally used to protect their own shores and sea lanes, as well as conduct offences towards pirates and ports of other countries.
Naval warfare is one of the oldest forms of warfare, as ships existed back when airplanes weren't even a thought in anyone's mind, and animals were used for carrying troops as opposed to military vehicles nowadays. However, navy vessels have come a long way from the times of the Roman Empire, when oarsmen would maneuver long and narrow vessels. Today's navy ships are awe inspiring and incredible feats of human achievement, with the aircraft carrier being perhaps the the most amazing possession any military could boast.
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Aircraft carriers have a full length flight deck, capable of carrying, deploying and even recovering aircraft, thereby merging two arms of the military. This brilliant idea has enabled navies with aircraft carriers to position the ship in open waters, which do not fall under the jurisdiction of any sovereign nation, and deploy aircraft without requiring permission, reducing the distance that the aircraft has to travel allowing it to engage in combat longer. This is why the aircraft carrier is undisputedly the crown jewel of a navy fleet.
Global military spending (see 20 countries with the highest military spending) is at an all time high as well. While active wars may not be as frequent as they were in previous centuries, the threat from other countries is growing each day, especially with the development of high tech weapons to gain an advantage over rivals. Tensions between rivals also leads to countries increasing the budget for defense spending, such as the skirmishes that have been taking place in the water between US and China. This is further encouraged by the major defense companies which stand to gain a lot, such as Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) and Norhtrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), some of the biggest defense contractors in the US and in fact, the entire world.
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Unfortunately, when ranking the strongest navies, many websites and lists simply consider the number of assets a navy has for the ranking, going for quantity rather than quality. This is why most lists will see North Korea on top, which is a laughable notion; North Korea has always overstated its military strength and even if they do have the ships they boast about, most of them are patrol boats.
This is why we are using the same robust methodology we used in 11 strongest navies in the world: 2017 ranking. We have ranked each naval fleet according to the type of ship it carries, with our data extracted from Global Firepower. For example, the aircraft carrier earns the most points due to the reasons mentioned earlier, followed by submarines, destroyers, frigates and finally, patrol boats. This has led to us seeing the actual strength of a navy, rather than see which navy has the most ships. So without further ado, let's see who will rank supreme in naval strength, starting with number 7:
The largest democracy in the world is famous for sparing no expense on its military, and their navy is no exception. India has hundreds of naval boats, which include an aircraft carrier and well over a dozen submarines. As is true for most nations, it has over a hundred patrol boats as well.
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6. South Korea
South Korea has had to keep its military strength top-notch to deal with the ever-growing strength of its biggest enemy, North Korea. South Korea has invested heavily in the quality of its navy, which is why it may not have a lot of ships, but no one can underestimate its naval strength which includes 2 aircraft carriers and 22 submarines.
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Many have criticized Iran for its budget allocation towards military spending, believing the money could be better spent in improving the quality of life in the impoverished nation. However, Iran certainly disagrees, and considering how many enemies it has, perhaps its wise that the country has spared little expense in improving its navy, which has nearly 350 patrol boats and 34 submarines.
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4. North Korea
While North Korea may not top the list of the 7 most powerful navies in the world, it has certainly put up a good fight. However, it has opted for quantity rather than quality as evidenced by the lack of aircraft carriers and destroyers in the fleet, and the presence of only 2 corvettes. Instead, it has focused on patrol boats, perhaps to stop North Koreans from trying to run away through the sea.
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While Russia may not be the superpower it once was, it is still quite a significant threat to any country in the world, and its navy backs up this claim, containing one aircraft carrrier and dozens of submarines, mine warfare boats and corvettes, not to mention frigates and destroyers as well.
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Perhaps the biggest threat to the US, and these two have faced off in the water multiple times. As China continues investing in its already mighty military which has 2 aircraft carriers, 74 submarines and more than 50 corvettes and frigates each!
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1. United States of America
While the other nations have put up a good fight, they are still significantly behind the United States, which tops the list of 7 most powerful navies in the world: 2020 rankings. The US has 10 aircraft carriers, more than all the other nations combined, which is just one of its many displays of absolute strength. It has 91 destroyers, again more than all the other top 15 nations combined.
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Pixabay/Public Domain[/caption] Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.