- Warship : A ship designed to employ weapons and sensors in direct naval warfare
- Anti-air warfare : In the context of naval warfare, the mission of defending against aircraft and missiles, from platforms under naval command and control, possibly in coordination with other services and possibly defending land as well as sea areas.
- Anti-submarine warfare : (ASW) In the context of naval warfare, the mission of attacking underwater vessels, from platforms under naval command and control.
- Naval warfare : The military history of the organized navies of the world from 300 BCE to the present.
- Battlecruiser : A large warship with guns comparable to those of a battleship, equal or greater speed, but less armor; "can catch what it can kill and run away from what can kill it"; had disastrous experiences when fighting true battleships
- Large cruiser : Designation for several national classes of WWII cruiser, much heavier-gunned than heavy cruisers but not approaching the capabilities of battlecruisers; major examples were German Lützow-class (commerce raiding; also called "pocket battleship") and U.S. Alaska-class (carrier escort)
- Heavy cruiser : The only cruiser type defined by the Washington Naval Treaty, this category has a main gun battery between 5.1"/155mm and 8"/203mm; it would normally have some armor and, if a "Treaty Cruiser", a maximum displacement of 10,000 tons
- Light cruiser : A warship larger than a destroyer, but smaller than a heavy cruiser, with more or heavier main guns (typically 6"/152mm), and some armor; often used as the flagship and core of a destroyer formation attacking with torpedoes
- 5" naval gun : The U.S. Navy standard medium naval gun series, used by many navies
- 6" naval gun : 152mm naval gun, usually the main battery of light cruisers; 155mm naval gun being tested on some modern warships
- 8" naval gun : A heavy naval gun, the point of reference for a heavy cruiser main battery as defined by the Washington Naval Treaty; often considered the heaviest practical caliber for naval gunfire support
- 280mm naval gun : German naval gun caliber used on "pocket battleships" such as Lützow-class (e.g., ), and, in an improved version, battlecruisers of the Scharnhorst-class; later a caliber for the U.S. "atomic cannon" on land
- 12" naval gun : Early battleship (e.g., HMS Dreadnought (1905)) main gun caliber; in WWII, main battery on Alaska-class large cruisers
- AEGIS battle management system : An integrated system of computers, radars, and other systems that provides integrated management of a shipboard suite of strategic strike, anti-surface warfare, ballistic missile defense and anti-air warfare principally using missiles in vertical launch systems; it complements other integrated systems for anti-submarine warfare and naval gunfire support
- Cooperative Engagement Capability : A distributed computing and communications system principally aboard U.S. Navy warships, more than the AEGIS battle management system is often called. As opposed to the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System it does not share only the processed data from single sensors on single platforms, but shares a mutually computed model fusing all sensors
- Armor (naval) : Heavy metal plate to provide passive protection against gunfire; obsolete for modern vessels, which do not face heavy gun threats, but emphasize defense against missiles as well as protection against underwater explosions
- Battleship : A heavily-armored, warship optimized for fighting other warships using large-caliber guns; certain armor requirements differentiated from cruisers; obsolete by end of World War II.
- Cruise missile : A guided missile that uses aerodynamic forces, as well as active jet or rocket propulsion, to stay airborne and to adjust its course.
- Destroyer : While the definition has evolved constantly, it is a multipurpose surface warship, generally less powerful than a cruiser, with capabilities against ship, aircraft, submarine, land, and sometimes ballistic missile targets
- Fast attack craft : Small naval craft, used in coastal waters, which rely on speed and maneuverability to survive to deliver heavy weapons (e.g., torpedoes, anti-shipping missiles) against warships, or to make gunfire attacks on merchant ships and landing craft
- Ocean escort : A warship with weapons and sensors to defend itself and ships near it, sturdy enough to operate in ocean conditions, but with only enough speed to escort merchant and military support ships, and usually not built to full warship standards of battle damage survivability
- Surface-to-air missile : A guided missile fired from land or water, to destroy aircraft and possibly missiles; naval versions may have a secondary anti-shipping missile capability
- Anti-shipping missile : An air, surface (sea or land), or submarine-launched missile that can track and intercept a maneuvering ship target against the background of moving water