World’s Top, Biggest, And Most Powerful Naval Forces, Which Country Are You In?

By Jake Schroeder

For years, we have been assuming that the country that has the biggest naval force is either China, Russia or the US. However, this list will prove that some other countries made it to the top of our list as well, having a big powerful navy even if they are not big geographically. There are many startling unknown facts, one of which is the country which holds the number one spot, guareenteed to amaze you.

It was a fine day in June 2018 when it was discovered that there are Chinese Government hackers who had successfully stolen a big amount of data on a certain contractor who works for the US Navy. It has been reported that some of the information stolen includes the United States' secret plans. This was a large indication that the Chinese government is largely sponsoring cyber attacks too.

World’s Top, Biggest, And Most Powerful Naval Forces, Which Country Are You In?
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However, it was not the only reason that the U.S. was getting worried. China often uses their very own naval force to declare their territory, especially at the East and the South China Sea.

More than we realize it, every country’s economy depends on importing and exporting transactions done in the sea. Almost all of the goods from different parts of the world are being transported on the seas - thus, the navy has a vital role in the country’s physical protection and economy.

Here is the list of the countries that hold the most powerful forces in the seas that you might want to check out >>>

36.Vietnam

As of today, according to the website 'Global Power', Vietnam holds the 36th position out of 75 countries with the biggest naval forces in the world. Vietnam has a total of 65 naval assets, with fourteen corvettes, six submarines, twenty-five patrol crafts, and eight mine warfare vessels. But Vietnam’s People’s Navy has a total budget of $3.4 billion for their defense budget.

36.Vietnam
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The Vietnamese government prioritizes Vietnam’s People’s Navy. Although this was just a branch of Vietnam’s People Army, the naval forces are often upgraded from their weapons, combat capability and ammunition. Here we see how Vietnam was already seeing the real importance of naval forces in their country’s development, security, and economy ever since the Vietnam War happened in the 1950s to 70s.

35.Chile

Chile holds the 35th slot on the list. The history of the Chilean Navy started way back in 1817 when they declared victory at the Battle of Chacabuco. No doubt that Chile holds one of the biggest naval forces because, after the wars for freedom in the early 1800s, they recognized how important naval force is for their country.

35.Chile
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Chile holds a total of sixty-nine navy assets and has a total of $5.5 billion on their defense budget. They are also protecting their country with eight frigates, four submarines, and twenty-three patrol crafts. As these are not much, the 35th position is justified. 

34.Nigeria

A branch of the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigerian Navy is one of the largest African navies in their continent. Adding up all of their coast guards and navy personnel, there could be several thousands of them. Before being known as the Nigerian Navy, it was known as the Nigerian Marine. A longstanding question prevails however; how did they get into the list of the biggest naval forces?

34.Nigeria
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Nigerian navy has a total defense budget of $2.3 billion. Although a smaller budget than the previous aforementioned countries, they have a large number of naval assets. All in all, Nigeria has a total of 75 naval assets. This country also owns 93 patrol crafts, along with four frigates.

33.United Arab Emirates

In total, the United Arab Emirates Navy has a total of 2,500 personnel. It is not shocking that they were able to land on this list. The United Arab Emirates holds a total of seventy-five naval assets. The UAE is also known for being a rich country and with this, they also own two mine warfare vessels, twelve patrol crafts, two corvettes, and their total defense budget is over $14.4 billion.

33.United Arab Emirates
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The country is mainly concerned with their coastal defense and that’s why they are doing their best on maintaining a high amount of naval forces. Aside from all of these, UAE also established a marine force known as UAR marines which they prepared with BMP-3 armored personnel carriers.

32.United Kingdom

Of course, the Royal Navy will never be missed out on the list. United Kingdom’s naval warfare force was known as the Royal Navy. The coolest thing about the UK is that, aside from having a big naval force, they were able to preserve their warships from their battle against France.

32.United Kingdom
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The history of the naval forces dates back from the 16th century and of course, as time pass by they are able to step up the game. With their total defense budget of $50 billion and a total of seventy-six naval assets, how could they not enter the list? Add the fact that they have thirteen frigates, twenty-one patrol crafts, six corvettes, two aircraft carriers, thirteen mine warfare vessels, six destroyers, and ten submarines. Such is expected from the royalties!

31.Qatar

A part of the State of Qatar Armed Forces, Qatar’s naval forces is known as the Qatari Emir Navy and Qatari Emiri Naval Forces. Since the country’s independence in 1971 from the United Kingdom, it is highly-noticeable that Qatar was able to grow their naval forces. 

31.Qatar
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In time, Qatar was able to gain a total of 80 naval assets. They are also proving their capability by allocating $1.9 billion for their defense budget and having sixty patrol crafts.

30.Germany

The Deutsche Marine is the official naval force of Germany which is a part of Bundeswehr, also known as Germany’s Federal Defense. However, the German Navy was originally called the Federal Navy until 1956. The Deutsche Marine doesn't only have a rich history, but they also  undoubtedly have one of the biggest naval forces in the world.

30.Germany
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Germany allocated a total naval defense budget of $45.2 billion along with a total of 81 naval assets. However, it does not end at that. Deutsche Marine consists of ten frigates, twelve mine warfare vessels, six submarines, and five Corvettes.

29.Thailand

Contrary to popular belief, the United Kingdom is not the only Royal Navy. Thailand’s official naval force is called the Royal Thai Navy or RTN. This was recognized from the late 19th century and as time passes by, it continues to upgrade its force.

29.Thailand
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As of today, the Royal Thai Navy is made up of seven frigates, seven mine warfare vessels, seven corvettes, thirty-two patrol crafts, and one aircraft carrier. Thailand also holds a total of eighty-one naval assets with a defense budget of $9.4 billion.

28.Poland

The Polish navy holds a total of 12,000 enlisted and commissioned personnel. According to history, they were active since March 24, 1568, and  mainly use it as a defense in their rivers where they trade and exchange goods.

28.Poland
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According to the records, the Polish Navy currently consists of three patrol crafts, two corvettes, two frigates, four submarines, and twenty mine warfare vessels. The naval force have also allocated a total of $9.4 billion for their defense budget along with their eighty-three total naval assets.

27.Algeria

Algeria has a coastline of nearly 620 miles or 1,000km and thus, they do everything to protect it. Algerian Navy is consists of eight submarines, eight frigates, a mine warfare vessel, forty-three patrol crafts. In total, Algeria has eighty-five naval assets.

27.Algeria
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While the country has a $10.6 billion allocated for their defense budget, they also have over 30,000 navy personnel to protect their country from any kind of maritime issue. An interesting fact about the Algerian Navy is that it was created and built during the Cold War with the help of the Soviet Union.

26.Taiwan

 Taiwan’s official naval force is known as the Republic of China Navy and it is consists of over 38,000 active navy personnel. Although Taiwan is a small country, Taiwan holds a total of eighty-seven naval assets with a defense budget of $10.7 billion.

26.Taiwan
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Taiwan is really putting up real effort to secure their territory, especially against China. While it is believed they may never be able to defeat China when it comes to quantity, they are all ready if anything happens. Specifically, China has two submarines, thirty patrol crafts, six frigates, four corvettes, and five mine warfare vessels.

25.Bangladesh

From the Bangladesh Armed Forces, the Bangladesh Navy was formed to secure the maritime territorial area of the country which equals 45, 874 sq miles or 118,813 square kilometers. Their naval force is expected to defend the country’s military and economic interest from any kind of threat.

25.Bangladesh
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To do this, Bangladesh allotted a total amount of $1.6 billion for their defense budget. The country also has a total of eighty-nine naval assets with five mine warfare vessels, thirty patrol crafts, two submarines, four corvettes, and six frigates.

24.Denmark

Another big and powerful royal naval force is from Denmark. The Royal Danish Navy is the marine counterpart of the Danish Defence Force. The Royal Danish Navy do all their maritime tasks including oil spill prevention and recovery, icebreaking, security and surveillance, searches and rescue.

24.Denmark
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To do all these, the Royal Danish Navy has a total of 90 naval assets. The country also allocated a total of $4.4 billion for their defense budget. Aside from all of that, they also own nine frigates, seven mine warfare vessels, and eight patrol crafts.

23.Brazil

The responsibility for overseeing Brazil’s naval operations is their Brazilian Navy. Not only is the Brazilian Navy is also known for being the largest navy in the South and Latin America, but it is also considered to be the next largest fleet from the United States of America, second after the United States Navy.

23.Brazil
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With Brazilian Navy’s eight frigates, four corvettes, five submarines, thirty-four patrol crafts, ten mine warfare vessels and a total of one-hundred and ten naval assets, there’s no doubt that it earns its position as 23rd. In addition, they allocated  $29.3 billion into their defense budget, proving they are ready if anything happens.

22.Greece

Greece’s naval force was officially named as the Hellenic Navy, the maritime branch of the Hellenic Armed Forces. According to Greece’s rich history, their maritime forces started way back in the Greek War of Independence and were officially recognized in 1828.

22.Greece
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But today, if you would ask how they were after two centuries, the Hellenic Navy surely just keeps on growing bigger and bigger. Currently, the Hellenic Navy has a total of one hundred and fifteen naval assets. They also own thirteen frigates, four mine warfare vessels, thirty-three patrol crafts, and eleven submarines. However, aside from this amazing fleet they also have a defense budget of $6.5 billion for any kind of maritime emergency.

21.France

The French Navy, also known as Marine Nationale is one of the world’s oldest naval forces. French Navy started way back in 1624 and held an important role in building the French colonial empire. However, one unique feature that these navy forces have is that it is consists of six branches known as the Maritime Gendarmerie, Force d'Action Navale, Marins Pompiers, Forces Sous-marines, Fusiliers Marins, and Maritime Force of Naval Aeronautics.

21.France
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All in all, the French navy has a total of a hundred and eighteen naval assets. The country also allotted a total defense budget of $40 billion. French Navy’s six naval branches are equipped with ten submarines, four aircraft carriers, eighteen mine warfare vessels, twelve destroyers, eleven frigates, and eighteen patrol crafts.

20.Philippines

Although a small archipelago, Philippines surely deserved a spot here. With over 24,000 personnel along with the 7,500 Marine Corps, this country is proven to have a strong naval force too.

20.Philippines
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Being largely surrounded with seas, Philippines holds a total number of hundred and nineteen naval assets along with four frigates, thirty-five patrol crafts, and ten corvettes. Philippine Navy is always prepared in any kind of maritime emergency and allotted a total of $3 billion defense budget. After being conquered by several countries, seems like the Philippines learned how to protect their territory as time passed by.

19.Morocco

Another royal navy coming in the list, the Royal Navy of Morocco is under the management of the Administration of Defence Morocco. As of today, the Moroccan Armed Forces is headed by King Mohammed VI. The Royal Navy of Morocco control, facilitate and secure the country’s exclusive economic zone which reaches up to 81,000 square nautical miles.

19.Morocco
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Currently, Morocco has a total of one-hundred and twenty-one naval assets and keeps a budget of $3.4 billion for country’s defense purposes. Along with those, the Royal Navy of Morocco consists of twenty-two patrol crafts, one corvette, and six frigates.

18.Japan

Japan Navy is also known as the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and was only formed on July 1, 1954, right after the disunion of the Imperial Japanese Navy in the World War II. According to some research, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force approximately consists of 45,800 personnel.

18.Japan
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With a total of hundred and forty-three naval assets, it is not surprising that Japan needed a lot of naval personnel. Japan also has an allotted budget of $44 billion for their defense. But aside from all of that, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is consist of four aircraft carriers, twenty-five mine warfare vessels, six patrol crafts, thirty-six destroyers, seventeen submarines, and six corvettes.

17.Mexico

Mexico is known for having their very own Naval Infantry Corps. This naval force has been active since 1822 but was reorganized in 2007. Like any other naval forces, the Naval Infantry Corps is responsible for securing and maintaining peace in their borders, but what’s surprising is the number of naval assets this country have.

17.Mexico
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Mexico has a total of a hundred and forty-three naval assets. But aside from this, they also own eleven mine warfare vessels, six frigates, three corvettes, and hundred and thirty-one patrol crafts. Plus, the Mexican government also has a total defense budget of $7 billion.

16.Italy

One of the branches of the Italian Armed Forces, the Italian Navy is formed in 1946 after World War II. It was first known as Regia Marina and was originally formed on March 17, 1861. According to a survey in August 2014, it revealed that the Italian Navy has a total number of 30,923 naval personnel.

16.Italy
16.Italy

Aside from the powerful number of personnel, Italy has a total of one-hundred and forty-three naval assets, along with four destroyers, two corvettes, ten mine warfare vessels, ten patrol crafts, fourteen frigates, eight submarines, and two aircraft carriers. However, aside from all of that, they also have a total defense budget of $37.7 billion.

15.Myanmar

The Myanmar Navy currently consists of 19,000 naval personnel and although it was just recently established, they have already proved that they are one of the biggest and one of the strongest naval forces around the world.

15.Myanmar

As of today, Myanmar has five frigates, two mine warfare vessels, three corvettes, and two mine warfare vessels. All in all the Myanmar Navy holds a total of one-hundred and fifty-five naval assets along with a defense budget of $2.4 billion.

14.South Korea

South Korea could not be also left behind in the list of the countries with the biggest naval forces. Having their very own Republic of Korea Navy formed on November 11, 1945, they also became known as the oldest division of the Armed Forces of South Korea.

14.South Korea
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South Korea may be a friendly country compared to the highly secured North Korea, but they also do not let their guards down in terms of securing their marine borders.  The Republic of Korea Navy has eleven mine warfare vessels, one aircraft carrier, twelve destroyers, twelve frigates, sixteen submarines, fourteen corvettes, and sixty-nine patrol crafts. That list is already long but just so you know, South Korea has a total of one hundred and sixty-six naval assets and they have a defense budget of $40 billion.

13.Bolivia

The Bolivian Navy is consists of a total of hundred and seventy-three naval assets along with eleven patrol crafts. The country of Bolivia also allotted a total of $315 million as part of their defense budget.

13.Bolivia
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According to the research, Bolivian Navy has a total of 5,000 personnel and although their country was landlocked since 1904 during the War of the Pacific they were still able to develop a River and Lake Force under the Ministry of National Defense of 1963.  And today, they were still not giving up on building a strong naval force.

12.Turkey

The Turkish Naval Forces can be traced its origin from 1081 when the first Turkish fleets sailed in the Aegean sea but it was only on July 1, 1949, when it became a part of the Turkish Naval Forces Command. According to some survey, it was reported that The Turkish Naval Forces has a total of 48, 600 naval personnel.

12.Turkey
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With that large number of naval personnel, it is only expected that Turkey has a total of one hundred and ninety-four naval assets. But aside from that, Turkish Naval Forces also have sixteen frigates, eleven mine warfare vessels, thirty-four patrol crafts, twelve submarine and ten corvettes with an allotted defense budget of $10.2 billion.

11.Pakistan

Pakistan has a total of 650 mi or 1046 kilometers of the coastline through the Arabian Sea. This was one of the reasons why this country has a big naval force too. The Pakistan Navy was established on August 14, 1947, and as of today, they had become a very strong naval force with a total of one-hundred and ninety-seven naval assets.

11.Pakistan
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Along with all of those naval assets, Pakistan also has ten frigates, three mine warfare vessels, five submarines, and eleven patrol crafts. Plus, they also allocated a total of $7 billion for their defense budget.

10.Indonesia

The Indonesian Navy was one of the youngest naval forces around the world. However, although just recently established on September 10, 1945, it already has a total of 74,000 active duty personnel.

10.Indonesia
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With that large number of personnel, it is not really surprising that Indonesia has a total of 221 naval assets. And aside from that, they also have twelve mine warfare vessels, seventy-four patrol crafts, three submarines, twenty-four corvettes, and eight frigates. Another jaw-dropping fact from this country is that they also have a $6.9 billion defense budget.

9.Colombia

Colombia’s official naval force is called the Colombian National Navy but it is also known as “Armada Nacional”. This naval force is in charge of protecting the Colombian borders including both of the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans. Colombia has a total of 35,086 personnel as of September 2013. With this large number of forces, how many do you think naval assets Colombia has?

9.Colombia
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To answer that question, Colombia has a total of 234 naval assets, plus a defense budget of $12.1 billion. And of course, the Colombian National Navy was also equipped with eleven submarines, four frigates, one corvette, and fifty-five patrol crafts.

8.Finland

Finland has a total of 31,500 navy personnel. And what do you expect? Finnish Navy has a total number of 270 navy assets. Along with this large amount of assets, Finland also has eight patrol crafts and eight mine warfare vessels. Plus, the country also allocated a total budget of $3,7 billion for their defense budget.

8.Finland
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One interesting fact about the Finnish Navy you might want to know is that they are especially calling their vessels as “Finnish Navy Ship”. They also have, Rear Admiral Kari Takanen as their current Finnish Navy Commander-in-Chief.

7.India

No doubt that India was up on this list.  The Indian Navy was known as one of the largest and the strongest navies in the world. However, one fact from the history you might want to know, the birth of the Indian navy can be traced back in 1612.  They acted as the supreme protectors of British merchants shipping in their coastal premises and that time, the Indian Navy was officially called as East India Company’s Marine.

7.India
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Holding one of the oldest and biggest naval fleets in the world, it’s not surprising that they have a total of 295 naval assets and the Indian Navy was equipped with 22 corvettes, 4 mine warfare vessels, 13 9 patrol crafts, 11 destroyers, 16 submarines, 14 frigates, and one aircraft carrier. Plus, you must not miss the fact that they also have a total of $47 billion as their defense budget.

6.Egypt

Known as holding the largest naval forces in Africa and the Middle East, Egypt truly deserves to enter this list. But the Egyptian Navy Forces do not just have those titles. When it comes to the number of vessels owned by all the countries around the world, Egypt was in the sixth place.

6.Egypt
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Because they needed to protect over 2,000 kilometers of shoreline, no doubt that they would need a total of 319 naval assets. And of course, the Egyptian Navy Force is also fully-equipped with 23 mine warfare vessels, 9 frigates, 53 patrol crafts, 6 submarines, 4 corvettes, and two aircraft carriers. Needless to say, Egypt is also prepared with their total defense budget of $4.4 billion.

5.Russia

Of course, this country will never be gone in this list. With their 37, 653 km of coastline, who would not need such a large fleet? But of course, you might have expected that this country would be on either first or second place since Russia is known for their development of nuclear weapons and a lot more. But either way, their naval assets is still jaw-dropping.

5.Russia
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According to the record, Russia currently has a total of 352 naval assets. And as you expected it, the Russian Navy holds 78 corvettes, 9 frigates, 13 destroyers, 41 patrol crafts, 62 submarines, 47 mine warfare vessels, and one aircraft carrier. And you might want to guess how much defense budget they still have aside from all of those naval crafts? Russia still has a jaw-dropping $47 billion in kept for future purposes.

4.Iran

The Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army was established on November 5, 1932. And yes, they have defeated Russia in terms of the total number of naval assets. Since they are the first line of defense in the Gulf of Oman, it is not really surprising that they have total navy assets of 398.

4.Iran
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The Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army is also equipped with 5 frigates, 10 mine warfare vessels, 230 patrol crafts, 33 submarines, and 3 corvettes. And although they already have all of those, they still have $6.3 billion defense budget left.

3.United States

Shocked that the United States only got the third place? Well, it seems like although they have a total of 415 naval assets, it was still not just enough to defeat whatever country it is who holds the number one spot. You can also add the fact that United States Navy also has 66 submarines, 11 mine warfare vessels, 10 frigates, 65 destroyers, 13 patrol crafts, and 20 aircraft carriers.

3.United States
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And although the United States already looked more than equipped, they still have $647 billion in hand as their defense budget. Whoever it is on the first and the second place must be really rich countries to surpass the United States!

2.China

Shocked again? Since the United States and Russia have already secured their places in the list, you might have expected that China will hold the number one spot. But obviously, it is a no. However, although China just landed in the second place, you might want to know that the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy holds a total of 255,000 of navy personnel.

2.China
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And with that large number of people, it is only just fair enough to know that China also holds a total of 714 naval assets. And of course, Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy is more than equipped with 29 destroyers, 50 frigates, 220 patrol crafts, 73 submarines, 29 mine warfare vessels, 39 corvettes, and one aircraft carrier. But after all of these, seems like that the Chinese government was still not satisfied, they still have a defense budget of $151 billion which they will use for who-knows-where.

1.North Korea

Finally, we had reached the top of them all. You must have not expected that North Korea would be really the one to get the number one spot. Although we knew that this country has been threatening several countries with recently, no one really expected that a small country compared to Russia, China and the United States would actually hold the biggest fleet of all. But then again, how did they really do this?

1.North Korea
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Far from our knowledge, North Korea had already successfully accumulated a total of 967 of naval assets. The Korean’s People Army was made up of 25 mine warfare vessels, 2 corvettes, 10 frigates, 438 patrol crafts, and 86 submarines. Plus, they still also have a defense budget of $7.5 billion.