Like other modern powers, balance is the name of the game for the British Royal Navy. The service puts a premium on multi-mission warships with nearly a quarter of tis force dedicated to frigates followed by a focus on mine warfare and then submarines. Unlike similar powers Canada and Australia, the service does one better by featuring a pair of all-modern dedicated aircraft carriers sporting the fixed-wing F-35 Lighting II strike fighter as its core offensive system. Beyond this, the new warships, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are outfitted with advanced sensors, processing systems, and communication solutions making them the centerpiece of the fleet. Ten submarines are featured of which four belong to the new Astute-class, the rest turning ever-older with age. The six-strong destroyer force is comprised of the Daring-class and these have all been commissioned within the last twelve years - making them quite new, though proven, additions. The frigate fleet continues to advance in age with each passing year, the Duke-class numbering twelve available vessels with the oldest hulls having reached thirty years of service. The mine warfare ofrce consists of eleven vessels which are also up in age, the oldest units pushing into their forties now. OPVs are the River-class with hald of these being relatively new vessels. The amphibious assault force is HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, both reaching twenty years of service soon. On order are three fleet submarines to strengthen and replace the current undersea force.
The following represents an overview of the modern naval fighting capabilities of the British Royal Navy (2023). The service currently counts 51 total units in its active naval inventory. This total includes frontline commissioned vessels but excludes smaller patrol vessels, auxiliary / survey ships, replenishment, and historical ceremonial types. The WDMMW review takes into account specific categories of warships covering attack, defense, and general support designs. Inventory numbers and related unit types are provided as-is and derived from publically-available information / sources. "On Order" totals found at the bottom of this article are related to any future hulls currently under procurement/construction though said hulls may not be delivered for service in the current year for various reasons.
Updated: 9/16/2023 | © www.WDMMW.org
Aircraft Carriers (2)
Hulls defined as those designed primarily to launch, retreive, and maintain fixed-wing and/or rotary-wing aircraft; nuclear- or conventionally-powered.
Prince of Wales
Hulls developed for undersea/submersible operation; nuclear-powered or conventionally-powered.
Multi-mission hulls developed for Blue Water environment; operating independently or as part of the main surface fleet.
Hulls defined as dimensionally smaller than Destroyers, though larger than corvettes, having Blue Water capabilities.
NOTES: The Duke-class will be succeeded by the under-construction Inspiration- and City-class guided-missile frigates.
Mine Warfare (11)
Hulls outfitted for the purpose of mine countermeasures/countermine warfare.
Offshore Patrol Vessels (8)
Hulls defined as OPVs and outfitted for the purpose of close-to-shore defense / deterrence.
Amphibious Assault (2)
Hulls designed specifically for the support of amphibious-minded, offshore / close-to-shore operations.
On Order (16)
Hulls set to be delivered in the current procurement year or in subsequent year(s).
On Order Commitment: 16 Units
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