The United States Navy has 290 combat-ready vessels, more than 3,700 aircraft and nearly 340,000 active duty personnel. In the U.S., she operates from bases in Virginia, South Carolina, Connecticut, Georgia, New Hampshire, California, Washington and Hawaii. The Navy's largest base is in Yokosuka, Japan, and she also operates out of bases in other locations across the globe.
The Navy exerts its power at sea via eight types of vessels. It’s not just about battleships, destroyers and aircraft carriers anymore. Ready to learn more about the newcomers? Let’s take a look at some of the most powerful vessels in the American fleet.
Cruiser - USS Bunker Hill (CG-52)
USS Bunker Hill is a guided missile cruiser of the Ticonderoga class. Her formal construction began — she was "laid down" — in January 1984, and her commission began in September 1986. Bunker Hill is 567 feet long and 55 feet across and has a draft of 34 feet. She has a range of 6,000 nautical miles (nmi) at 20 knots (kn).
Cruiser - USS Mobile Bay (CG-53)
The USS Mobile Bay was named after the 1864 American Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay. Her motto is "Full Speed Ahead." She carries Tomahawk Land Attack missiles, which were used during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and Seahawk LAMPS helicopters for anti-submarine warfare.
Cruiser - USS Antietam (CG-54)
The USS Antietam was named for the 1862 battle between General Robert E. Lee and Union Major General George McClellan during the Civil War. Her home port is in Yokosuka, Japan, where the United States Navy's largest base is located.
Cruiser - USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55)
The USS Leyte Gulf is armed with 122 missiles fired from two 61-cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems. She carries Harpoon missiles, 25-mm Mk 38 guns, 0.50 caliber machine guns, Phalanx CIWS Block 1Bs and two Mk 32 12.75-inch triple torpedo tubes.
Destroyer - USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)
The Arleigh Burke destroyer class was built to complete strategic land strikes using Tomahawk missiles, anti-aircraft strikes using Aegis radar and surface-to-air missiles, anti-submarine strikes with towed sonar array and anti-submarine rockets, and anti-surface warfare strikes with Harpoon missile launchers.
Destroyer - USS Bainbridge (DDG-96)
This Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer is the fifth Navy ship to be called the Bainbridge. She was named after Commodore William Bainbridge, who commanded the USS Constitution during the War of 1812. The Bainbridge carries more than 100 missiles aboard two Mk 41 VLS magazines.
Destroyer - USS Barry (DDG 52)
Named after the "Father of the American Navy," Commodore John Barry, this Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer incorporated several improvements, particularly the ability to refuel a helicopter. In 2004, she won the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for most improved ship in the Atlantic Fleet.
Destroyer - USS Benfold (DDG-65)
The USS Benfold was built by Ingalls Shipbuilding and was laid down in September 1993 and commissioned in March 1996. Her homeport is Naval Base Yokosuka, Japan, and her motto is "Onward with Valor." The Benfold was an early adopter of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.
Amphibious Assault Ship - USS America (LHA-6)
The America class amphibious assault ship's role is to put Marine Expeditionary Units of helicopters and transport aircraft ashore. The first America class ship was commissioned in 2014 as a replacement for the Tarawa class USS Peleliu. For the first three America class vessels, the cost was $10.094 billion per ship.
Amphibious Assault Ship - USS Bataan (LHD-5)
The USS Bataan is a Wasp class amphibious assault ship based out of Norfolk, Virginia. She was commissioned in September 1997 and is propelled by two boilers and two geared steam turbines generating 70,000 shaft horsepower. The Bataan carries 17 boats and landing craft and 1,687 troops in a Marine Detachment.
Amphibious Assault Ship - USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)
The Wasp class amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard is the current flagship for Expeditionary Strike Group Three. She is armed with RIM-116 Rolling Airframe missile launchers, RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile launchers, two 20-mm Phalanx CIWS systems, three 25-mm Mk 38 chain guns and four 0.50 BMG machine guns.
Amphibious Assault Ship - USS Boxer (LHD-4)
Like five Navy ships before her, the USS Boxer is named after the HMS Boxer, a ship captured by the U.S. from the British during the War of 1812. The Wasp class USS Boxer was commissioned in February 1995. While en route from Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi to San Diego, her bridge wing was sheared off in the Panama Canal.
Littoral Combat Ship - USS Milwaukee (LCS-5)
The USS Milwaukee LCS-5 is a Freedom-class littoral combat ship, which is a type of combat ship designed for operations near shore. There are two classes of littoral combat ships in the U.S. Navy: the Freedom class and the Independence class.
Littoral Combat Ship - USS Fort Worth (LCS-3)
The USS Fort Worth was the second Freedom class littoral combat ship constructed. Her home port is Naval Base San Diego. The Fort Worth has a lengthened stern transom and additional buoyancy tanks to increase weight service and enhance stability.
Littoral Combat Ship - USS Tulsa (LCS-16)
The USS Tulsa is an Independence class littoral combat ship. She was built from prefabricated modules at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. She was commissioned in February 2019. The USS Tulsa carries two MH-60R/S Seahawk helicopters and an MQ-8 Fire Scout helicopter.
Littoral Combat Ship - USS Freedom (LCS-1)
The USS Freedom LCS-1 is the lead ship of the Freedom class of littoral combat ships in the U.S. Navy. She is the third Navy vessel to be named "Freedom." The Freedom class was designed for shallow-water missions, including minesweeping and humanitarian relief and is capable of submarine resistance.
Ballistic Missile Submarine - USS Alabama (SSBN-731)
The USS Alabama is a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. She is the sixth member of the Ohio class. The Alabama was commissioned in 1985, and she remains in active service. Her motto is "We Dare Defend Our Rights."
Ballistic Missile Submarine - USS Alaska (SSBN-732)
The USS Alaska is an Ohio class ballistic missile submarine based in Kings Bay, Georgia. She was commissioned in 1986 and has the motto "Alert, Confident, Able." The sub displaces 16,765 long tons surfaced and 18,750 long tons submerged.
Ballistic Missile Submarine - USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN-730)
This Ohio class ballistic submarine is the only Ohio class sub not named after an American state. Instead, she is named after United States Senator Henry M. Jackson. She was built by General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut.
Ballistic Missile Submarine - USS Kentucky (SSBN-737)
The USS Kentucky was laid down in December 1987 and commissioned in July 1991. Her motto is "Thoroughbred of the Fleet." The sub collided with the attack submarine USS San Juan (SSN-751) during a joint training drill in 1998, and one of the Kentucky's stern planes was damaged. The San Juan's forward ballast tank was also breached.
Ballistic Missile Submarine - USS Louisiana (SSBN-743)
Four Navy ships have carried the name Louisiana, including this Ohio class nuclear submarine. The USS Louisiana was the last of the Navy's Ohio class submarines. She was laid down in 1992 and commissioned in 1997. Her home port is at Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor, Washington. Her motto is "Union, Justice, and Confidence."
Attack Submarine - USS Albany (SSN-753)
The USS Albany SSN0753 is a Los Angeles-class submarine laid down in 1985 and commissioned in 1990. The sub is nearly 362 feet long and approximately 33 feet wide at the beam and has a draft of almost 31 feet. An S6G nuclear reactor propels it. She has a crew complement of 15 officers and 98 enlisted crewmembers.
Attack Submarine - USS Alexandria (SSN-757)
Los Angeles class USS Alexandria SSN-757 is a nuclear-powered attack submarine based out of San Diego, California. She was commissioned in 1991 and remains in service under the motto "Twice as Strong." The USS Alexandria was participating in exercises under an Arctic Ocean ice floe with the Trafalgar class submarine HMS Tireless in 2007 when the Tireless experienced an explosion that killed two crew members.
Attack Submarine - USS Annapolis (SSN-760)
The Los Angeles class nuclear-powered submarine USS Annapolis is assigned to Submarine Squadron 11 based at Point Loma Submarine Base in San Diego, California. The squadron is responsible for anti-submarine, anti-surface, strike, special and mine warfare as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The USS Annapolis is one of five submarines in the squadron.
Attack Submarine - USS Asheville (SSN-758)
The USS Asheville SSN-758 is a nuclear-powered fast attack submarine. She carries a developmental Advanced Mine Detection System (AMDS) sonar array with transmitters and receivers in the sail and beneath the hull at the bow. The system is for target detection, mine avoidance and bottom navigation.
Aircraft Carrier - USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)
The USS Ronald Reagan is a Nimitz class, nuclear-powered supercarrier. She was built by Northrop Grumman in Newport News, Virginia, and commissioned in July 2003. Her home port is at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. The USS Ronald Reagan displaces 101,400 long tons.
Aircraft Carrier - USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)
The USS Harry S. Truman was the eighth of the Navy's Nimitz class aircraft carriers. She was commissioned in July 1998 and operates from Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. She has participated in Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Deny Flight, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom — Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Summer Pulse '04 and NATO Operation Medshark/Majestic Eagle '04.
Aircraft Carrier - USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77)
The USS George H. W. Bush CVN-77 is the last of the United States Navy's Nimitz class supercarriers. Her construction took place between 2003 and 2009, at a cost of $6.2 billion. Her home port is Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.
Aircraft Carrier - USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)
The Gerald R. Ford class of aircraft carriers is being built to replace the Navy's USS Enterprise CVN-65 and Nimitz class supercarriers. They have a hull similar to that of the Nimitz class but include new technologies such as the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System.
Aircraft Carrier - USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)
The USS John F. Kennedy is the second of the United States Navy's Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carrier. Her construction was recently completed in October 2019, and the ship was christened on December 7, 2019. She was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries at a cost of $11.341 billion and has not yet been commissioned.