With the changing nature of international politics and war fighting strategies, the role of maritime forces has also changed in great deal. During the days of imperial colonialism, the navy of any empire played the most vital role in carrying out its will to the farther parts of the world. It was commonly shared notion in the British that trade follows the navy, as the later paved way for the former to reach out to the unexplored markets that possessed great economic potential.
Navy does not only provides you with a source to carry your cargoes, but it is also one of the most important source of ensuring defense at the sea lines of communication. With the rapid technological advancement in every field, the naval forces of major powers are also witnessing great progress. It is observed that these powers are equipping their navies with nuclear powers.
It would be highly interesting to note that those submarines which are fueled by uranium have the capacity to remain submerged in the seas for long period of almost six months, thus providing any power to camouflage its movements and equipments from the adversaries.
This article is taking into account the details of top 10 strongest navies of the world. Following are the countries which possess strong naval warships, air craft carriers, vessels, submarines and so on. It can also be said that these are the best naval forces of the world by 2014. However, this article has its own limitations as it cannot take into account the exact details of the forces of any particular country because such information is kept highly classified and secret.
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Taiwan also maintains a strong naval force to ensure the survival of its primary state interests. Republic of China Navy (Taiwan) currently possesses 48 total warships and 38000 personnel. Moreover, it is also equipped with 4 destroyers and 22 frigates. This naval force is world’s 10th best navy in the world by this time.
Italy was the center of European Renaissance when West shifted towards the scientific and logical reasoning after the dark ages. By virtue of being the center of educational activities, Italy made great developments in the naval capabilities, and showed the world new trade routes that were once unexplored and hidden. Today, Italy’s navy possesses 66 total warships and 35,200 personnel.
South Korea is a state whose policies are largely driven by taking into account the security considerations. Being an ally of USA, it serves as an actor to keep check over the ambitions of China and its immediate adversary North Korea. Therefore, it is important for South Korea to possess a strong naval force which currently possesses totally 70 warships and 68,000 Navy personnel.
Indian Navy is also witnessing great developments in the recent times. In order to carry out the Indian ambitions to be the major power of the world, by extending its influence beyond its regional superiority in South Asia, Indian Navy is been trusted with great confidence. Indian Navy is estimated to be possessing 155 total warships and 58,350 personnel. However, as far as the influence in different parts of the world, Indian Navy does not yet enjoy as much power as do the above mentioned countries.
France is also one of the great imperial power of history who exerted great influence in different parts of the world. France is also the permanent member of UN Security Council and believes in having stronger military muscles for the defense of the country. French Navy is currently equipped with 72 total warships and 44,000 personnel working in it. It also possesses 15 petrol boats and 18 Anti-mine ships. It gets 6th position in naval forces ranking of the world.
United Kingdom is the country which has enjoyed unchallenged naval superiority and monopoly in maritime forces for a good period of time. As mentioned earlier, Royal Navy of UK helped it a lot to materialize its colonial ambitions. However, in prevailing times, UK does not enjoy the same superior status as it once enjoyed. Currently Royal Navy of UK possesses 100 total warships and 36,600 personnel operating in it.
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Japan is located in that part of the world where it can play a great part in influencing the global trade through sea line of communication. Moreover, being a stronger ally of USA, Japan plays a crucial role in keeping check on China, Iran and other adversaries of USA. The current naval capabilities of Japan include 109 total warships with 45,800 personnel. Japan Maritime Self-Delfense Force possesses 3 landing ships and 29 Anti-mine ships.
The great ambitions of China to be the next super power of the world expects it to maintain a stronger navy. It is important for China to secure its trade routes in different sea lines of communication particularly in the Indian Ocean in order to ensure the safe and smooth imports and exports of different commodities. To achieve this objective, PLA poses great confidence in its Navy and has equipped it with 239 total warships. The total number of personnel working in it is estimated to be 250,000.
During the days of cold war, Russian leadership attached great importance to their naval capabilities in order to counter the growing US influence. To date, Russian navy is credited with being the 2nd strongest navy in the world as it possesses 282 total warships and 140,000 personnel working in it. It also contains 1 aircraft carrier, 11 landing ships, 16 destroyers, and 4 cruisers.
The navy of United States of America is the strongest navy in the entire world. It may lack a little bit superiority in terms of quantity of certain vessels and submarines, but they still are regarded as the strongest by the virtue of the influence they are exerting on the world. The most significant feature of the US Navy is that it possesses the largest active warships which are operating in different parts of the world oceans. Currently, US Navy possesses 341 total warships, accompanied by 323,700 personnel working in it.