The Spanish Navy (Spanish: Armada Española) is the maritime branch of the Spanish Armed Forces and one of the oldest active naval forces in the world. The Armada is responsible for notable achievements in world history such as the discovery of Americas, the first world circumnavigation, and the discovery of a maritime path from the East Asia to America across the Pacific Ocean.
For three centuries the Spanish Navy played a crucial defensive and logistical role within the Spanish Empire. It formed part of a vast trade network that sailed the Pacific from Asia to America and the Atlantic from America to Europe escorting the galleon convoys. The Spanish Navy was the most powerful maritime force in the world in the 16th and early 17th centuries, but the political and economic decline of Habsburg Spain caused it to be eclipsed by the rising Dutch, English, and French navies. Wide-ranging reforms under the new Bourbon dynasty reversed this decline in the 18th century, for much of which Spain possessed the world's third-largest navy and, by combining with the allied Marine royale, rivaled Britain for naval supremacy until Trafalgar.
As of 2010, the Armada has 25,000 personnel, and the total displacement of the navy is approximately 250,000 tons. The main bases of the Spanish Navy are located in Rota, El Ferrol, San Fernando and Cartagena.
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