Top 15 Naval Forces in the World

The oceans are one of the most important assets that exists on the planet. Not only are they important when it comes to military power, but it is also vital when it comes to maintaining trade. In today’s modern world military conflicts and unique threats such as pirates can have an effect on the price of trade across the globe. With the level of importance that rests about being able to maintain safety of the oceans through use of powerful ships, many countries have worked hard to build up their navel strength not just to protect their own interests, but to also help in making sure that global trade can continue without interruption.

Even with the assumption that most coastal nations have their own standing navy, not all naval forces are equal. There are some naval forces that have reached the top of the pinnacle when it comes to their naval strength. The strength of a navy comes from both the amount of active ships and the level of technology that is used with those ships. Below is list of the 15 strongest navies in the world with a brief explanation of the type of fire power that each one has.


15. Canada

The Canadian armed forces have seen a lot of action over the years. While many of the branches of their armed forces have been in existence since before the start of the First World War, it wouldn’t be until 1968 that the Canadian armed forces would be turned into the fighting unit that we see in use today. The Royal Canadian Navy consists of 1 destroyer with 12 frigates. They also have several auxiliary vessels and a variety of costal defense crafts. The RCN is 8,500 personal strong with an additional 5,100 reserve sailors.

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14. Australia

Australia is a country that is often associated with having some of the best military forces in the world. Their various branches see action in many different campaigns and the discipline of their troops has earned them respect from around the world. With Australia being both its own country and its own continent, it is very important that this nation has a strong navy to ensure the safety of its waters. 


The Royal Australian Navy consists of 47 commissioned vessels that are all equipped with state of the art equipment in the world. This is also one of the few countries that also have air craft carriers as part of its force. The RAV is the largest and most advanced navy that you are going to see in the South Pacific.

13. Brazil

Brazil has the largest navy in South America and is also the second largest navy out of the Americas. The history of the Brazilian Navy can trace its roots back to the war of independence from Portugal in the 19th century. Since then, Brazilian naval forces have seen action in numerous conflicts including with having to deal with various rebellions that have come up over the history of the country. The country has over 60,000 active members. Most of the operations that this naval force takes part in today is peace keeping.


Brazil is also looking to increase its power by incorporating a navel carrier into its forces as well.

12. Germany

Germany’s defense forces have developed a reputation over the years as some of the best trained soldiers and sailors in the world. The Germany Navy is one of the major parts of NATO forces and is used for both humanitarian and peace keeping operations. The German Navy is also charged with protecting territorial waters as wells as the protection of trade routes and oceanic communications. This navy has 81 commissioned ships with additional auxiliary vessels. The entire German Navy is also reinforced by Denmark’s navy through an agreement referred to as Project Ark.


Germany is also planning on expanding its fleet and upgrading their current equipment.

11. Netherlands

The Royal Netherlands Navy dates back to the 17th century. Over the years the navy has seen plenty of action in combat situations and has been upgraded to keep up with current weapons’ technology. After the Second World War, the role of the RNV shifted into peacekeeping operations. The size of this navy consists of around 10,500 active members that are backed up by nearly 900 reserve troops.


The naval force consists of 6 frigates, various offshore patrol vessels and boasts a diverse variety of other ships that can be called upon to best respond to emergency situations.

10. South Korea

South Korea’s navy also know of ROK Navy, has been focusing on upgrading their current navel to become classified as a blue-water navy. A blue-water navy is a naval force that is able to conduct operations over the ocean far from their own shores. The ROK Navy has a force that is amphibious and on top of their naval vessels, South Korea also has land troops which it can deploy, including artillery.

The force consists of 130 ships with around 10 amphibious crafts which can be deployed during operations. This force is also support by around 20 additional reserve ships.

9. India

Like South Korea, India also has ambitions to turn its current navy into a blue-water navy. Its current standing is aimed at protecting the waters around the country while also supporting various humanitarian missions and training missions. India’s navy is made of a combination of landing vehicles and much larger ships such as air craft carriers.


They also have over 58,000 personnel with a nuclear powered sub and over 10 destroyers. These ships are also reinforced by over addiontal ships that are equipped to handle the various task and missions that the navy has to function in.

8. Republic of China Navy

China is one of the few countries that has two different navies. The Republic of China is the force that is used to maintain the security of the seas alongside the coast line of the country. This navy is aimed to keep the territories free of pirates and other hostile threats.


While it has a very large amount of sailors, the technology that is used, works best when it comes to just maintaining the seas around China. In total there are around 45 active ships that are operated by around 38,000 various personnel.

7. France

In almost every field of armed services, France has developed a reputation for being able to deliver some of the most sought after weapons systems in the world. The French Navy doesn’t just reflect these advanced systems, but it also maintains the reputation that has grown and developed since it was first created in 1624. 


Today the French Navy is used to protect the waters around the country’s coast line while also taking part in intelligence gathering operations. The navy is also used in times when crisis management is needed. The active navy consists of around 98 different ships that are operated by around 39,000 personnel.

6. UK

Like the French Navy, the Royal Navy also has a long history of being one of the strongest marine forces in the world. For centuries, the Royal Navy dominated the seas and oceans of the world. Today, the overall size of the navy has shrunk, but the technology that is used makes up for the reduced size. Taking part in various operations including peace keeping and crisis management, this navy is still just as active as it used to be.


The Royal Navy has around 97 ships that are maintained by around 37,000 personal of all different specialties.

5. Japan

The Japanese defense force has become known for using advanced equipment and being extremely well trained. While the country is only allowed to have a limited armed force for the reason of protecting sovernty, they are still one of the most powerful navies in the world.


Consisting of around 114 different ships that are manned by over 45,000 personal, Japan has a force that is eyed as being one of the best throughout the world.

4. Italy

Italy is a nation that is normally overlooked in many discussions about military power. While the navy might be smaller with both ships and sailors, they do partake in a wide variety of different missions including search and rescue as well as numerous peace keeping operations.


This experienced navy is one of the first to volunteer for world missions and also include being one of the few navies in the world that have their own air craft carriers. In total the power of this navy can be found in around 60 ships that are manned by over 36,000 personal who all receive some of the best training in advanced fighting systems in the world.

3. People’s Liberation Army Navy

This is China’s second navy. This massive navy, which was first created in 1950, has seen extreme growth in both its size and the weapons systems which it employs. It has its own branches that focuses on the various needs that come from maintaining a safe coast line.

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The Navy consists of over 500 ships including submarines and is manned by over 290,000 personal at all times. This is one of the most powerful navies to have existed.

2. Russia

The arms race that Russia had with the United States, allowed for the country to grow its military power into one of the most feared militaries on the planet. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has still been able to maintain its military levels.

Not only has Russia maintained the size of its military powers, but it was also been able to maintain its equipment to ensure that it is able to still compete with the advanced systems that are used by other militaries in the world. The Russian Navy is one of the longest standing navies in the world and even today, it is still just as respected as it was in its earlier days. The Russian Navy is made up of around 282 ships that are equipped with modern weapons and are maintained by over 140,000 active personnel.

1. United States

The United States didn’t always have one of the strongest navies in the world. In its early days, the young country has having a hard time maintaining a naval force that was able to keep up with the navies that where already established over in Europe. While the navy did progress over time, it wasn’t until the Second World War that the United States would develop a navy that was not only able to compete with its counterparts, but was also able to push the envelope on the various tools and fire power that make this the strongest navy in the world. The United States Navy is made up of over 280 and are manned by over 317,000 active servicemen. The technology that is employed by this navy make it one of the most versatile and powerful navies found in the world.