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Aircraft carriers are the largest ships operated by the Navy. They serve one of the most important roles in military operations because they carry such a large range of weapons and vehicles.
Aircraft carriers allow the Navy to send helicopters and airplanes into military combat zone around the world. Since the US Navy has several aircraft carriers stationed in various parts of the world, it can maintain a military presence without occupying foreign soil.
Amphibious Assault Ships
Amphibious assault ships are very similar to aircraft carriers. The major difference between the appearances of these vessels is that amphibious assault ships do not have an angled flight deck like aircraft carriers. Amphibious assault ships, however, provide a distinct role in military operations.
Amphibious assault ships are designed to support ground troops. They can accomplish this goal by launching smaller ships and helicopters, or landing on the shore. Many of these vessels also have hovercrafts that allow sailors to reach land positions quickly.
Cruisers are extremely versatile ships that let the Navy engage in surface, air, and anti-submarine operations. These ships carry weapons that let them detect and engage submarines. They also have weapons that can engage aircraft operating within a certain area.
Cruisers are not as large as aircraft carriers, but some of them have been designed to launch aircraft. Some carriers are designed to specialize in anti-submarine or anti-aircraft missions. They often work together in groups, but they also have the ability to complete operations independently.
The US Navy maintains two distinct types of submarines. Ballistic submarines have the ability to launch nuclear weapons. Their development was seen as a way deterrent to nuclear warfare during the Cold War. Attack submarines perform a wider range of operations. They can launch missiles; gather intelligence, patrol waters, and complete tactical missions.
The Navy has at least 53 attack submarines and 14 ballistic submarines.
Destroyers are extremely fast, agile ships that can engage in surface attacks. Many experts consider US Navy destroyers to be a fleet’s primary surface combatant. This makes them extremely important vessels in areas where military force is likely. They not only provide support for ground troops, but can also help protect other military vessels within a limited area.
Frigates are fairly small ships compared to the other types operated by the US Navy. Frigates, however, can defend other vessels well. They often accompany merchant convoys that might cross dangerous waters. They can also help protect other military ships when they come under attack.
Since frigates are smaller, they cost less money to build. This makes them a cost-effective choice for the Navy.
Each of these US Navy vessels serves an important role in maintaining peace and successfully engaging in warfare. Within each type there are variations that make them unique to specific missions.