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A warship is a vessel built to take an active part in naval warfare, carrying out missions principally including anti-surface warfare, anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and land attack. While technically warships, vessels purpose-built for mine warfare and amphibious warfare have defensive weapons only.

The term "man o'war" has been used historically for worships, but does not imply a purpose-built design. Underlying design is important in modern warships; there is a delicate argument for certain escorts that are built on merchant hulls but still have some purpose-built features. Not all naval ships that engage in combat are warships, such as armed merchant cruisers or early pirate vessels.

Modern warships also have extensive electronics systems for target acquisition, fire control, and defensive electronic warfare, as well as for navigation and communications.

The major modern types of warships are of the types:

Historical types of warships included: