The British Empire was the largest empire in history because of its naval strength and in particular the ability of its ships to fire cannons over longer distances than any other navy.
In modern warfare, navies still play an essential role in combat, and the biggest, baddest warships are able to change the shape of a conflict.
These 12 incredible modern warships are all capable of changing the game in a heartbeat during naval battles.
12. HMS Agamemnon
As a nuclear submarine, the Agamemnon will run in near perfect silence until she’s ready to strike. The reactor will not need to be refueled once in the estimated 25-year service life of the submarine, either.
The Agamemnon will carry a range of 38 different weapons, many for naval warfare, but it will also be able to accurately attack land targets up to 1,000 miles away.
11. HMAS Canberra
The Canberra uses the sophisticated Vampir system for defense, and up to 18 helicopters can be based on the ship at any one time.
More importantly, the Canberra is designed to deliver over 1,000 troops to any part of a battle in rapid deployment conditions. It’s capable of upsetting the balance of minor conflicts, quickly.
The Canberra has been used, to date, only in humanitarian missions to deploy emergency aid to Australian allies.
10. Frigate Forbin
The Forbin’s role is essential in major naval conflicts; she acts as air-defense to protect carrier battle groups. The ship’s only job is to take monitor, take out and control operations when a fleet is being attacked from the air.
She has been on active duty protecting both French and American carrier groups while they conduct operations against piracy in the Gulf of Somalia and joint operation exercises with the Indian Navy.
9. Corvette Boikiy
She uses two anti-sub torpedo tubes to carry out her mission. The corvette passed her inspection in November 2012 and was then transferred officially to the Baltic Fleet.
The corvette is new enough that the complete details of her fit out are still unclear. There was a recent addition of a 100mm gunnery system to the corvette which was delivered later than the ship herself. She entered active duty in 2013.
8. USS Anchorage
The USS Anchorage is designed for recovery of objects during naval conflicts and to assist in their repair. One of the key roles that the boat has played so far is in trials with NASA to fetch space capsules for rapid retrieval.
She also carries an airframe missile launcher and up to 4 helicopters to act in defense of her operations. She should be able to hold off a fair amount of aerial assault whilst carrying out her main duties.