The Most Powerful Warships in the World


We often forget that war can come to us, not only from the ground and from the skies, but also from the sea. Almost every country in the world has a navy complete with a fleet of warships which can cause devastation and destruction to mass amounts of people. Places like Russia, China, and North Korea especially, boast frighteningly impressive maritime destroyers. Here are some of the scariest threats coming from all sides.


USS Zumwalt- USA

This is one seriously clever warship, as on radars it comes up as a small fishing boat. This guided missile destroyer was the first ship to be named after the legendary Admiral Elmo Zumwalt and has been designed with impressive stealth capabilities; which is why it can look like a fishing boat on radars, despite being 600 feet long. It also weighs over 14,000 tons and reaches speeds of 62 km per hour. That is one seriously impressive warship!

The USS Zumwalt is a powerful warship that has been designed for stealth

USS Coronado- USA

Defeating coastal threats is the aim of the game for the USS Coronado. This warship is a whopping 418 feet long and the third US Navy ship to be named after Coronado in California.

The USS Coronado is around 418 feet long and works close to the coastline


HMS Defender- UK

There have been eight ships named HMS Defender, all belonging to the British Royal Navy. However, easily the most impressive is the D36, which has been built as an air-defense destroyer. Basically, it’s a boat that can take down missiles! Launched in 2009, the HMS Defender is around 500 feet long and weighs around 9,4000 tons. The entire ship has a foreboding presence about it; you wouldn’t want to come face to face with one in the sea, that’s for sure.

The HMS Defender D36 belongs to the British Navy and weighs 9,400 tons

USS Independence (LCS-2)- USA

Commissioned in January 2010, two years after it was first launched, the USS Independence LCS-2 is the leader of all the USS Independence class combat ships. The ship has been designed for combat in the littoral zone, which effectively means close to shore. That means it’s agile and stealthy, along with being quite light at 2,307 tons. It can reach a pretty impressive top speed of 81 km per hour, too. Of course, this beauty belongs to the US Navy!

The USS Independence LCS-2 is the leader of all the Independence class combat ships

Dixmude- France

Not to be confused with the Belgian City, the Dixmude belongs to the French Navy and is truly a sight to behold. Built as an assault ship and to carry helicopters, the current model (L9015) is the third to bear the Dixmude name. This is one of the heaviest warships on our list, weighing in at the top end of 32,300 tons with ballast, and around 16,500 tons when empty. How it doesn’t sink at that weight is beyond us!

The Dixmude warship belongs the the French Navy and is one of the heaviest warships ever

The Juliet Marine Systems Ghost- USA

This is one of the most impressive stealth warships out there. Its sole purpose is to be able to move through the water quickly and without being detected, in order to provide protection for the US military when they need to get somewhere stealthily. As it gets quicker, it lifts up onto its struts for better control at high speeds. It’s currently being developed even further so that it can eventually reach speeds of 92 km per hour.

The Juliet Marine Systems Ghost is a powerful warship designed to be undetected

SAS Mendi- South Africa

This Valour-class frigate, complete with various big weapons and machine guns, belongs to the South African Navy and was first ordered back in 1999, however it wasn’t commissioned until 2007. The name SAS Mendi actually came from the wife of the Chief of the Navy Vice Admiral at the time, Johan Retief. Since 2011, this impressive warship has been working on operations to crack down on pirates in the Mozambique Channel. It’s an anti-pirate ship if you like!

SAS Mendi is part of the South African Navy’s fleet and works on anti-piracy missions

HDMS Absalon- Denmark

Denmark may seem like the last place on earth you’d expect to find a giant warship, but it’s where the HDMS Absalon hails from! This is one of the two biggest ships to ever serve in the Royal Danish Navy, alongside the Esbern Snare, Absalon’s sister ship. The main purpose of this warship is for support and command roles, and they’ve been serving that role since 2007. The Absalon is over 450 feet long and weighs around 6,300 tons.

HDMS Absalon is the Danish warship and is used for command roles and support

HMAS Canberra- Australia

Two guesses where this warship comes from! Of course, the HMAS Canberra is part of the Royal Australian Navy and is thought to be the flagship of their entire fleet. At over 750 feet long and weighing an impressive 30,300 tons, the Canberra (named after Australia’s capital city), serves as a landing helicopter dock complete with advanced warfare systems. It’s also one of the most recent of the warships on our list to come into service, first becoming active in 2016.

The HMAS Canberra is the Royal Australian Navy’s flagship warship

HMS Agamemnon- UK

There have been five ships called Agamemnon, as part of the British Royal Navy. The name comes from the Greek king, who commanded the Greek forces in the Trojan war. However, the one we’re most interested in is the submarine which is currently under construction. This nuclear-powered submarine will be able to take on 38 weapons and can fire missiles up to 1,600 km away! It’s going to be one formidable foe when it’s finished being built.

HMS Agamemnon belongs to the British Royal Navy and is still under construction

INS Vishal- India

The INS Vishal is another warship that is still being developed, this time for the Indian Navy. While construction isn’t due to be completed until 2023, it’s being created to replace the other aircraft carriers as part of the Indian Navy’s fleet. It’s thought that the INS Vishal will be able to hold a whopping 1,400 people; that’s an entire village of people! It also means that the ship will be able to stay in the water until supplies run out.

The INS Vishal is still under development and will be completed in 2023

French Frigate Forbin- France

This warship has a pretty cool, but dangerous, job. The French Frigate Forbin is to protect other ships from supersonic missile attacks… Awesome, right? As you can probably tell by the name, this ship is a vessel belonging to the French Navy, and it’s actually the sixth of their vessels to bear the name Forbin. The ship is built out of 14 sections, needing many different subcontractors to finish putting the over 500 feet long frigate together.

This French Frigate Forbin is the sixth ship with the same name in the French Naval fleet

Steregushchiy 530- Russia

You may have to take your teeth out to say it, but this Russian boat is more than just a mouthful. As one of the newest classes of corvette for the Russian Navy, the Steregushchiy has been adapted and improved over the years, to create the model you see here before you. And isn’t she a beauty?! They’re useful for gun support when it comes to landing operations and engagement with enemy submarines. Russia has said they will buy at least 30 more.

Steregushchiy 530 is part of the Russian Navy and is used for gun support in landing ops

HMS Queen Elizabeth- UK

Unsurprisingly, the British Navy own a few ships called Queen Elizabeth, in honor of Elizabeth I. However, there is only one that we’re really interested in, and it’s this aircraft carrier. It’s the largest warship ever built for the British Navy and falls under the ‘supercarrier’ domain. The ship only started sea trials in June 2017, so is likely to be commissioned by the end of the year. Each one costs a whopping $4.2 billion to build.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth cost $4.2 billion to build and belongs to the British Navy


USNS Spearhead- USA

This warship may look sluggish, but it was actually designed as a form of fast transport, for the US military. It also looks pretty darn scary, but it hasn’t been designed for combat either. The USNS Spearhead shoots (like a spearhead) through the waters, transporting personnel or equipment. It can reach top speeds of around 80 km per hour, which is nippy for a big boat like this. The modular design also means they can be refitted with new equipment quickly and efficiently.

The USNS Spearhead reaches top speeds of around 80 km per hour

TCG Heybeliada- Turkey

Nicknamed the ‘Ghost of the Seas’ due to its ability to move around undetected, this Turkish Navy warship was named after Heybeliada Island, which is where you’ll find the Turkish Naval High School. Just from the name, you can tell this is an important boat for the Turkish Navy. At over 320 feet long and weighing in at 2,340 tons, it’s one pretty big warship. It also comes equipped with some pretty big guns… You know, just in case.

The TCG Heybeliada is nicknamed Ghost of the Seas and can move around undetected

USS Enterprise- USA

Not to be confused with the spaceships in Star Trek, there are actually nine ships called the Enterprise in the US Navy. We imagine that can become quite baffling. The CVN-80, however, is the one we’re most interested in. While it is still under construction at the moment, the US Navy are pretty excited by the aircraft carrier. And so they should be! It’s not due to be in operation until 2027, however. Only ten more years to wait then!

The USS Enterprise is still under construction and due to be in operation by 2027

USS Gerald R Ford- USA

If you thought you’d seen one of the biggest supercarriers in the HMS Elizabeth, try this one out for size! Over 1,000 feet long, weighing around 100,000 tons, and costing nearly $13 billion to build, this is what you call a super ship! The USS Gerald R Ford was named after the 38th President of the United States and then commissioned by President Donald J. Trump in July 2017. The first deployment of this ship is expected around 2020.

The USS Gerald R Ford is classed as a supercarrier and weighs around 100,000 tons

The USS America- USA

This warship is so good, it was named after an entire country. You know that it’s gotta be impressive if it’s being called the USS America! This amphibious assault ship is there to lead a whole fleet into battle, like the flagship. It is nearly 850 feet long and weighs around 45,000 feet. If you come across in the water, then it’s probably game over for you and your fleet. At least you’ll know where the ship came from?!

The USS America is nearly 850 feet long and belongs to the US Navy

USS Anchorage- USA

This amphibious transport dock is one of two US Navy ships to be named Anchorage (after a city in Alaska), with the former being decommissioned back in 2003. The LPD-23 can carry up to four helicopters and two hovercraft, on its nearly 700 foot long body. It’s one of the slowest on our list, which is quite usual for a ship of this size, reaching a maximum speed of 40 km per hour. The USS Anchorage has been in active service since 2016.

USS Anchorage is named after a city in Alaska and is a transport dock for the US Navy

Russian Corvette Boikiy- Russia

This may be quite small compared to some of the others on our list, at less than 350 feet long, but sometimes good things come in small packages… The Russian Corvette Boikiy is part of the Steregushchy-class (which literally translates to vigilant). It found itself in some hot water recently, however, when it had to be escorted through the English Channel by the Royal Navy when tensions were heating up between Russia and the rest of the world. Awkward!

The Russian Corvette Boikiy was recently escorted through the English channel by the Royal Navy

INS Makar- India

The INS Makar is classed as a survey catamaran, that was originally designed for surveying the coastline, seabed, and potential submerged obstructions. However, it was commissioned by the Indian Navy in 2012 and is now poised to help with any search and rescue missions, alongside protecting the coast if needs be. It still spends most of its time surveying, however. The name, INS Makar, actually comes from the constellation of Capricorn, and the J31 pictured is the lead ship of its class.

The INS Makar is named after the constellation of Capricorn and belongs to the Indian Navy

ARA Heroína- Argentina

The ARA Heroína was constructed in 1974, as part of a plan called the Naval Construction National Plan, which was designed to replace their old warships from World War II, with more up to date ones.  The ship is currently at its home port in Puerto Belgrano Naval Base.


Caio Duilio- Italy

The Caio Duilio is an Italian multi-purpose warship. Although it is mostly designed for anti-aircraft warfare, it is also highly capable of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare as well. This multi-purpose ship has an entire range of functions, including escorting aircraft carriers, commanding maritime operations for all types of aeronaval warfare, natural disaster relief, humanitarian operations, and crisis response.


Admiral Grigorovich- Russia

The Admiral Grigorovich is currently the lead frigate ship of the Russian Navy. Its home base is with the rest of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol. The two most notable missions of this ship were in November 2016, when it targeted Syrian terrorists, and it was deployed once again to Syrian waters to respond to the US missile strike of Shayrat Airbase in April of 2017.

ORP Generał Kazimierz Pułaski- Poland

The ORP Generał Kazimierz Pułaski was originally known as the USS Clark and belong to the United States, until it was given to the Polish Navy. The ship was then named after Kazimierz Pułaski, who was a hero in the American Revolutionary War, and a hero for Polish independence.


Ammiraglio Magnaghi – Italy

This Italian ship is one of the most cared for vessels in the Italian Navy.  It is a hydrographic survey vessel, which means that it can precisely measure maritime activity. It is the first warship in history to be both designed and constructed in Italy. It is a very cared for ship, and receives upgrade regularly.


CNS Kunming- China

The Chinese military are always pretty secretive when it comes to their warships, so it is pretty exciting when we get a glimpse into one being designed or built. The CNS Kunming is one of the Type 052D Destroyer warships that have been spotted being built by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in two different Chinese shipyards. Not much else is known about the guided missile destroyer, other than it’s likely to pack a punch.

This guided missile destroyer, CNS Kunming, is being kept under wraps by the Chinese military

CNS Linyi- China

Yet another warship from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force, and yet again not much is known about it. We told you they’re secretive! It’s thought that there is enough room on-board to hold two helicopters and that it features anti-submarine missiles. We also know it’s around 512 feet long and was seen being built back in 2012. However, the Chinese are keeping all of the other specs about this warship very close to their chest.

The CNS Linyi is a secret warship which was seen being built in China in 2012

BNS Riachuelo- Brazil

The Brazilian Navy isn’t exactly renowned for their fleet, but that could all be about to change by the looks of this submarine currently under construction. This attack submarine is thought to be 75-foot long, and has the ability to stay underwater for long periods of time; only needing to resurface once in awhile to recharge. The BNS Riachuelo is all set to be delivered in 2020 and commissioned a few years later. It is also being co-built with the French.

The BNS Riachuelo is being built by Brazil and France and is due for delivery in 2020

JDS Hyuga- Japan

The Japanese are another culture that likes to keep their cards close to their chest when it comes to the power of their warships. However, there is no hiding the beast that is the JDS Hyuga! This helicopter destroyer is over 640-foot long and weighs nearly 20,000 tons. Currently, it is positioned on the Korean Peninsula due to building tensions over North Korea and their nuclear weapons program, alongside the JDS Ashigara and several US Navy ships.

The JDS Hyuga is currently positioned on the Korean Peninsula to keep an eye on North Korea

HMCS Chicoutimi- Canada

Just because Canadians are super nice, doesn’t mean they don’t have a foreboding fleet of ships! The Canadian Navy actually have two ships called HMCS Chicoutimi, with the first being retired after the second world war. This Victoria-class submarine, however, has been in active service for the Canadians since 2015. Originally hailing from the Brits, the Chicoutimi is a long-range hunter-killer sub. Sounds pretty scary, huh? With six 21-inch torpedo tubes, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s scary!

The HMCS Chicoutimi has six 21-inch torpedo tubes and is one of the most powerful warships in Canada

INS Mysore- India

This INS Mysore (D60) is a destroyer in the Indian Navy that has actually seen some serious action since it was commissioned. The 535-foot missile destroyer has conducted several missions over the years, including the Colombo incident (2008), the Gulf of Aden incident (2008), the Libyan conflict (2011), a hijacked Iranian cargo vessel rescue mission (2011) and removing Indian citizens from Iraq (2014). The missile destroyer warship was commissioned in 1999 and has been in active service ever since.

The INS Mysore has been on several missions since it was commissioned in 1999

LÉ William Butler Yeats- Ireland

The pice of Ireland which is not a part of the UK has its own naval fleet it can be proud of. This ship is an offshore patrol vessel and is part of the Samuel Beckett-class of ships. The ship was named after the Irish poet, W. B. Yeats, and was formally commissioned in a ceremony where it was officially named by the actual granddaughter of its poet namesake.

HMAS Perth- Australia

The HMAS Perth ship is part of the Anzac-class belonging to the Royal Australian Navy. The ship was built by Tenix Defence Systems in 2006. Most notably, the ship was the very first major naval vessel in the Australian Navy to be piloted by a woman. In later years, the ship was then used as a tester to test if its upgrades were able to defend against anti-ship missiles.


Dinh Tien Hoang- Vietnam

The Dinh Tien Hoang is a Gepard-class frigate, and the first frigate of its kind to be commissioned into the Vietnam People’s Navy. The ship is designed for specific tasks such as search and rescue, anti-submarine, tracking target ships, air defense, escorting parties, and patrolling.


Tippu Sultan- Pakistan

This ship was originally built for the use of the British Royal Navy, and was named HMS Avenger. In 1994, it was sold to Pakistan, where it was renamed Tippu Sultan. This is actually the 3rd ship to carry the Pakistani name, and it is part of the 25th Destroyer Squadron in the Pakistan Navy.


Drazki 41- Bulgaria

The Drazki 41 is part of the Wielingen-class of frigates belonging to the Bulgarian Navy. However, the ship was originally constructed to be used by the Belgian Navy, and was named Wandelaar. In 2004, Belgium sold the ship to Bulgaria, and it has been active in their navy ever since.


Regele Ferdinand – Romania

The Regele Ferdinand was originally known as Coventry, and was constructed and used by the British Royal Navy until 2004. The ship is now the main flagship of the Bulgarian Navy, and is used for many different types of maritime operations such as enforcing an arms embargo in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as taking part in a military intervention in Libya called Operation Unified Protector.


Al Riyadh- Saudi Arabia

The Al Riyadh is one of three ships belonging to the Al Riyadh-class. They are copied from the French La Fayette class of ships, but have been expanded upon for better anti-aircraft capabilities. The ship is armed with the Aster 15 missile, but its main offensive weapon is a Exocet anti-surface missile.


Leopold I- Belgium

The Leopold I was originally part of six ships belonging to the Netherlands in the Dutch M class of frigates, and was named Karel Doorman. In 2006, it was sold to the Belgium Navy and christened as Leopold I. The ship has taken part in an initiative against Somali Pirates in 2007. It also was commissioned to join the French naval task force to help in strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq.


USS Lassen- USA

There are two US Navy warships named the USS Lassen, the first being decommissioned in 1947. The second, however, was launched in 1999 and has been in active service since. This guided missile destroyer comes in at just over 500 feet and weighs 9,200 tons – so not the biggest we’ve seen. Most of this warship’s time has been spent in Japan, at the Yokosuka Naval Base, but it was recently moved back to the US to the Mayport Naval Station in Florida.

The USS Lassen is currently stationed at the Mayport Naval Station in Florida

INS Karmuk- Southeast Asia

At just under 300 feet, the INS Karmuk is a corvette warship that can reach top speeds of 46 km per hour. It has been deployed all across the South China Sea, the North West Pacific, and then a goodwill tour as part of India’s Look East Policy to improve relations in Southeast Asia, conducting exercises with the People’s Liberation Army Navy. Since its last deployment in 2012, the ship is back in India, waiting for its next mission.

The INS Karmuk has been on several deployments around Asia and is now back in India

USS Port Royal- USA

There have been three ships as part of the US Navy, with the name USS Port Royal. This one, however, is a pretty impressive piece of equipment! Unfortunately, when it was being built, they didn’t realize that there was a previous USS Port Royal ship, so in the engineering control center there is an inaccurate plaque which says “First ship named.” Awkward! It is 567 feet long and is currently situated as its homeport of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

This USS Port Royal is not the first of its name as the plaque in the control center says!

USS Fort Worth- USA

Surprisingly, the USS Fort Worth is the first ship to be named after the famous Texan city, which is also home to one of the biggest military bases in the US. It’s one of the newest ships in our list, having first come into service in 2017, after being commissioned back in 2012. Unfortunately, it has had a few technical issues since being commissioned, including finding itself stranded in Singapore… But it’s back in working order now!

The USS Fort Worth first came into service in 2017 and is being used by the US Navy

FS Courbet 6- France

This ship almost had a diplomatic incident with Israel, when an Israeli ship came within 2-nautical-miles of the ship’s defensive perimeter, and failed to respond to the radio calls from the French trip trying to confirm their identities and purpose for being there. Luckily, Israel apologized after the incident, and nothing broke out.  The ship also helped out in anti-piracy initiatives in Somalia, helping to recapture stolen yachts from the pirates.


Jiangkai II- China

This ship comes equipped with medium-range air defense missiles, along with multiple anti-submarine rockets in a VLS system. The ship also has defensive anti-aircraft missiles, which cover all angles up to 50 km away. The ship also utilizes fiber glass in more of the ship’s parts and weapons, making it 30% lighter than its predecessor.


HSV 2 Swift- UAE

As you can probably tell by the name, this warship is pretty quick! It was built as a private catamaran and privately owned up until being leased to the National Marine Dredging Company of the United Arab Emirates in 2015. It’s reported to have been attacked in October of 2016 but remained afloat and was rescued a few days later. It is thought to now be unrepairable, however, and has been decommissioned recently, which is a real shame.

The HSV 2 Swift has now been decommissioned due to being attacked in 2016

HMS Dauntless- UK

This Type-45 destroyer warship belongs to the British Navy and is the fifth boat to be named Dauntless. Used as an air-defense destroyer, it was first commissioned in 2010 and has been in active service since 2017. While it may have been on several operations over its years, it’s now thought to be used mainly as a training vessel due to a lack of manpower to keep the boat running as part of the British Navy’s impressive fleet.

The HMS Dauntless is now mainly used as a training vessel by the British Navy

Le Triomphant- France

This strategic nuclear submarine belongs to the French Navy and has been in commission since 1997! At over 450 feet long, it’s one of the biggest nuclear submarines to ever grace the seas. It has had one pretty silly incident, however, as it collided with a Royal Navy submarine in 2009. Oops! That’s not what you want to do when you’re carrying nuclear power onboard. Luckily, no damage was done (and the sea didn’t blow up thank goodness).

Le Triomphant is a strategic nuclear submarine belonging to the French Navy

Admiral Gorshkov- India

This ex-Soviet warship is now owned by the Indian Navy, after the Russians moved onto greener pastures. Admiral Gorshkov was used by the Soviets initially up until 1991 and was nicknamed Baku. The Russian Navy then used the same ship up until 1996 before it went out of service. This stunning warship was sold to India in 2004, and they’ve called it INS Vikramaditya. Despite a fair few name changes, it’s still the same foreboding presence in the seas it’s always been.

The Admiral Gorshkov used to be an Soviet warship but now belongs to the Indian Navy