The Royal Navy (RN) is the principal naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Tracing its origins to the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service. From the end of the 17th century until well into the 20th century it was the most powerful navy in the world, playing a key part in establishing the British Empire as the dominant world power. Due to this historical prominence, it is common – also among non-Britons – to refer to it as "The Royal Navy" without qualification.
Following victory in the First World War the Royal Navy was significantly reduced in size, although at the onset of the Second World War it was still the largest in the world. By the end of the Second World War the United States Navy had emerged as the world's largest. During the course of the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a primarily anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines, mostly active in the GIUK gap. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union its focus has returned to global expeditionary operations.
The Royal Navy operates a "blue-water" fleet of technologically sophisticated ships including an aircraft carrier (though without fixed-wing aircraft), a helicopter carrier, two landing platform docks, four ballistic missile submarines (which maintain the UK's nuclear deterrent), six nuclear fleet submarines, six guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates, 15 mine-countermeasure vessels and 24 patrol vessels. As of July 2012, there were 78 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy, plus 19 commissioned ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). The RFA primarily serves to replenish Royal Navy warships at sea, and also augments the Royal Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities through its three Bay-class landing ship dock vessels.
The Royal Navy is part of the Naval Service, which also comprises the Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Marines Reserve. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, an Admiral and member of the Defence Council of the United Kingdom. The Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Royal Navy currently operates three bases in the United Kingdom where commissioned ships are based; Portsmouth, Clyde and Devonport, Plymouth, the latter being the largest operational naval base in Western Europe.
Other articles related to "royal navy, navy, royal":
... and last years, 1914-1920 (1952–59) From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow the Royal Navy in the Fisher era, 1904-1919 five volumes (1961–70, 1978) Winston is back Churchill at the Admiralty, 1939-40 (1972) From ...
... HMS Arabis was a Flower-class corvette of the Royal Navy ... Originally ordered for the French Navy in the early days of the war, the ship was commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Arabis ... She was transferred to the United States Navy in 1942, serving as USS Saucy ...
... accompany Bligh - remained there, taking their chances that the Royal Navy would find them and bring them to justice ... with a baby, set sail in Bounty hoping to elude the Royal Navy ... a safe haven, on 15 January 1790 they rediscovered Pitcairn Island, which had been misplaced on the Royal Navy's charts ...
... The Royal Navy of the 18th century is depicted in many novels and several films dramatising the voyage and mutiny on the Bounty ... The Royal Navy's Napoleonic campaigns of the early 19th century are a popular subject of historical novels ... name of Douglas Reeman who, under his birth name, has written many novels featuring the Royal Navy in the two World Wars ...
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Famous quotes containing the words royal navy, navy and/or royal:
“The Royal Navy of England hath ever been its greatest defence and ornament; it is its ancient and natural strength; the floating bulwark of the island.”
—William Blackstone (17231780)
“People run away from the name subsidy. It is a subsidy. I am not afraid to call it so. It is paid for the purpose of giving a merchant marine to the whole country so that the trade of the whole country will be benefitted thereby, and the men running the ships will of course make a reasonable profit.... Unless we have a merchant marine, our navy if called upon for offensive or defensive work is going to be most defective.”
—William Howard Taft (18571930)
“All hail! the powr of Jesus Name;
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the Royal Diadem,
To crown Him Lord of all.”
—Edward Perronet (17261792)