When it comes to naval hardware, the largest warships in the world are among the best of their kind. Size simply does matter when it comes to weaponry, defense systems, and other military capabilities, especially when surrounded by water. Since being able to possess a great deal of independent fire power is very desirable, countries had great incentive to build some of the largest warships in the world and make their naval fleet a force to be reckoned with.
This change was partly induced by the fact that the nature of naval war changed considerably over the past few decades, thanks to the successful proliferation of airforce. Since naval battles are less frequent in the modern world, warships have taken on a considerably different role. Acting as support units for aircraft, launching laser guided missiles, or other attack weaponry from a distance, warships are no longer expected to be extremely agile. Being able to fend off attackers, provide support, and wreak havoc from a distance, are more desirable features in modern warfare, where warships rarely face each other in battle. Either way, nobody is gonna go looking for a fight with any of the ten largest warships in the world, that’s for sure!
In a recent article, we presented the 10 most militarily powerful countries in the world and learned that most of these nations also have powerful navies. The largest defense budgets in the world, are certainly the ones responsible for the largest warships on the planet, so don’t be surprised if you find one or two similarities between the lists. The US Navy for example, surely contributed one of two ships, as did the Russians, the French, and the Chinese. Let’s see what other nations managed to create huge warships, and who has the largest of them all.
10. Izumo Class – 813 feet
This Japanese helicopter carrier is not only meant for support, but was actually designed to hunt down and destroy submarines. Nevertheless, it has enough room for 400 troops, 14 choppers, and more than 20 vehicles on board!
The warships only get bigger and meaner from here, as our list of the largest warships in the world continues on the next page.
9. Kirov Class – 827 feet
The nuclear-powered Kirov Class battleships were the pride of Soviet Russia. Costing around $2 billion apiece, and built for full-on battle, these warships are very impressive in terms of weaponry.
8. Wasp Class – 831 feet
The first American ship to make the top ten are the eight Wasp Class ships, which are specialized units utilized to insert and support troops in hostile territory. The amphibious assault ships can carry around 1,900 marines, and a wide range of assault vehicles, tanks, and aircraft, making it a very deadly weapon.
7. America Class – 844 feet
At $3.4 billion, the America Class is the larger and more advanced amphibious assault vessel the navy has in its service. With the ability to accommodate F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters on its runway, this warship is almost as powerful as an aircraft carrier.
6. Charles de Gaulle Class – 858 feet
The only European warship on our list is the French Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. This vessel is not only amazing due to its size, but is also the first nuclear-powered surface ship made in France.
5. Modified-Clemenceau Class – 869 feet
Although this would be considered the second European vessel on our list, the Clemenceau class aircraft carriers are now part of the Brazilian Navy. They have been heavily upgraded, but are still encountering certain technical problems.
4. Modified- Kiev Class – 930 feet
The Indian Navy is proud to boast its very own Russian-built aircraft carrier. Although it was formerly introduced into the Soviet Navy back in 1987, the Russians received $2.35 billion for this giant vessel in 2004.
3. Modified- Admiral Kuznetsov – 999 feet
As the rising superpower in Asia and the world, one would expect China to have a powerful aircraft carrier at its disposal. The acquisition of a surplus Russian unit was exactly what the Chinese were looking for!
2. Admiral Kuznetsov Class –1001 feet
The original Russian Admiral Kuznetsov is actually 2 feet longer than the modified Chinese version. Heavy offensive and defensive weaponry, including SAMs, anti-submarine missiles, and of course the power aircraft above, make this one of the best vessels of its kind.
1. Nimitz Class –1092 feet
Of course the US Navy had to be number one on the list, as it is the best funded and most advanced navy in the world. The $4.5 billion Nimitz aircraft carrier is no different, as the biggest and most expensive ship on our list can carry up to 90+ aircraft!