Defense Primer: Naval Forces [Updated December 21, 2021]   [open pdf - 540KB]

From the Document: "U.S. naval forces give the United States the ability to convert the world's oceans--a global commons that covers more than two-thirds of the planet's surface--into a medium of maneuver and operations for projecting U.S. power ashore and otherwise defending U.S. interests around the world. The ability to use the world's oceans in this manner--and to deny other countries the use of the world's oceans for taking actions against U.S. interests--constitutes an immense asymmetric advantage for the United States. [...] [T]he size and composition of U.S. naval forces reflect the position of the United States as a Western Hemisphere power with a goal of preventing the emergence of regional hegemons in Eurasia. As a result, the U.S. Navy includes significant numbers of aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered attack submarines, large surface combatants, large amphibious ships, and underway replenishment ships. [...] On June 17, 2021, the Biden Administration released a document that calls for achieving a Navy with a more distributed fleet architecture, including 321 to 372 manned ships and 77 to 140 large unmanned surface and underwater vessels. [...] The size of the Navy in recent years has generally ranged between 270 and 300 battle force ships. As of December 16, 2021, the figure was 295."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF10486
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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