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Navy

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A navy is a military organization with the principal mission of fighting from, above, or under water. Some of the basic naval missions go back to antiquity, while others, such as ballistic missile defense], are recent.

Types of naval warfare

This preliminary list includes both techniques (e.g., anti-air warfare) and overall missions (e.g., sea control}}

  • Amphibious warfare [r]: The set of techniques, equipment, specialized units, and methods of training needed to move troops across water, and deliver them to land, ready for immediate combat. [e]
  • Anti-air warfare [r]: 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. [e]
  • Anti-surface warfare [r]: (ASuW) In the context of naval warfare, the mission of attacking surface vessels, from small boats to supertankers and aircraft carriers, from platforms under naval command and control [e]
  • Anti-submarine warfare [r]: (ASW) In the context of naval warfare, the mission of attacking underwater vessels, from platforms under naval command and control. [e]
  • Ballistic missile defense [r]: A combination of sensors, command and control systems, and missile/warhead kill mechanisms that protect a region, or, in the case of the U.S., theaters of operations as well as the nation proper. [e]
  • Close air support [r]: Weapons delivered, by aircraft, in close proximity to friendly forces that are in contact with enemy forces; direct support of ground combat requiring extreme care to avoid fratricide [e]
  • Combat search and rescue [r]: The location and rescue of military and civilian personnel in hostile areas, such that a military operation is necessary to retrieve them [e]
  • Land attack [r]: A range of technologies and techniques used to attack targets on land from the sea; the targets are usually assumed to be well inland, and the weapons to be non-nuclear [e]
  • Mine warfare [r]: An area of military technology and doctrine, which deals with the development, use of, defense against, and removal of land mines, improvised explosive devices, and sea mines. These devices are characterized by being distributed prior to the presence of an adversary; the mines trigger either by sensing the enemy, or by command from friendly forces. [e]
  • Power projection [r]: The capability to deploy military forces, even if limited to air and special operations, on short notice over intercontinental ranges [e]
  • Sea control [r]: "The employment of naval forces, supported by land and air forces as appropriate, in order to achieve military objectives in vital sea areas. Such operations include destruction of enemy naval forces, suppression of enemy sea commerce, protection of vital sea lanes, and establishment of local military superiority in areas of naval operations." (U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff) [e]

Types of naval vessel (modern)

"Modern" is assumed to be from the beginning of the 20th century; some types, such as battleships, are no longer part of current navies and unlikely to return

Combatant

  • Aircraft carrier [r]: A warship designed to launch and recover combat aircraft and aircraft that support military operations [e]
  • Battleship [r]: 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. [e]
  • Corvette [r]: In modern use, a multipurpose warship intended principally for coastal use, although more like a small destroyer for patrol work than a fast attack craft; corvettes may be capable of ocean escort duty but typically have less endurance [e]
  • Cruiser [r]: While definitions vary with time and doctrine, a large warship capable of acting independently, as a flagship, or a major escort; capabilities include anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, land attack, and possibly ballistic missile defense [e]
  • Destroyer [r]: 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 [e]
  • Fast attack craft [r]: 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 [e]
  • Ocean escort [r]: 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 [e]

Amphibious warfare

Some types listed may overlap; a given vessel type might have both a helicopter flight deck and a (dock) well deck

Support

((r|Oceanographic ship (naval)}}

Types of naval vessel (premodern)