List of currently active United States military watercraft

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The United States military has numerous types of watercraft, operated by the Navy, including Naval Special Warfare Command and Military Sealift Command, as well as the Coast Guard, Army and Air Force

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States.

Watercraft vehicles that are intended for locomotion on or in the water

Watercraft, also known as marine vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles used in water, including ships, boats, hovercraft and submarines. Watercraft usually have a propulsive capability and hence are distinct from a simple device that merely floats, such as a log raft.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.

Contents

Commissioned ships (USN)

Aircraft Carriers

USS Nimitz, the lead ship of her class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, known as 'supercarriers'. USS Nimitz in Victoria Canada 036.jpg
USS Nimitz, the lead ship of her class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, known as 'supercarriers'.
<i>Nimitz</i>-class aircraft carrier US Navy aircraft carrier class

The Nimitz class is a class of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy. The lead ship of the class is named after World War II United States Pacific Fleet commander Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who was the U.S. Navy's last living fleet admiral. With an overall length of 1,092 ft (333 m) and full-load displacement of over 100,000 long tons, the Nimitz-class ships were the largest warships built and in-service until USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) entered the fleet in 2017.

<i>Gerald R. Ford</i>-class aircraft carrier class of supercarrier for the United States Navy

Gerald R. Ford class is a class of aircraft carrier being built to replace the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and eventually the United States Navy's existing Nimitz-class carriers, beginning with the delivery of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). The new vessels have a hull similar to the Nimitz carriers, but introduce technologies since developed such as the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, as well as other design features intended to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs, including sailing with smaller crews.

Amphibious Assault Ships

Wasp class amphibious assault ship takes aboard a Landing Craft Utility USS Essex Thailand.jpg
Wasp class amphibious assault ship takes aboard a Landing Craft Utility

Amphibious Command Ships

Amphibious Transport Docks

Attack Submarines

Seawolf-class submarine USNavySeawolfSubmarine.jpg
Seawolf-class submarine
<i>Los Angeles</i>-class submarine class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines of the United States Navy

The Los Angeles class are nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (SSN) in service with the United States Navy. The submarines are also known as the 688 class, after the hull number of lead vessel USS Los Angeles (SSN-688). They represent two generations and close to half a century of the Navy's attack submarine fleet. As of 2018, 35 of the class are still in commission and 27 are retired from service. Of the 27 retired boats, 12 of them were laid up half way through their projected lifespans, and another five also laid up early, due to their midlife reactor refueling being cancelled, and one was lost due to a fire. Seven have been scrapped and two are being converted to moored training ships. A further four boats were proposed by the Navy, but later cancelled. The class has more active nuclear submarines than any other class in the world. Submarines of this class are named after American towns and cities, such as Albany, New York, Los Angeles, California and Tucson, Arizona, with the exception of USS Hyman G. Rickover, named for a US Navy Admiral. This was a change from long-standing tradition of naming attack submarines for creatures of the ocean, such as USS Seawolf or USS Shark.

<i>Seawolf</i>-class submarine class of US nuclear attack submarines

The Seawolf class is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (SSN) in service with the United States Navy. The class was the intended successor to the Los Angeles class, and design work began in 1983. A fleet of 29 submarines was to be built over a ten-year period, but that was reduced to 12 submarines. The end of the Cold War and budget constraints led to the cancellation of any further additions to the fleet in 1995, leaving the Seawolf class limited to just three boats. This, in turn, led to the design of the smaller Virginia class. The Seawolf class cost about $3 billion per unit, making it the most expensive SSN submarine and second most expensive submarine ever, after the French SSBN Triomphant class.

<i>Virginia</i>-class submarine submarine class

The Virginia class, also known as the SSN-774 class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines in service with the United States Navy. The Virginia-class attack submarine is the U.S. Navy’s newest undersea warfare platform and incorporates the latest in stealth, intelligence gathering and weapons systems technology. Attack submarines are designed to seek and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships as well as project power ashore with Tomahawk cruise missiles and Special Operation Forces, carry out Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions; support carrier battle group operations; and engage in naval mine warfare.

Ballistic Missile Submarines

Classic Frigate

USS <i>Constitution</i> 1797 heavy frigate of the United States Navy, oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat

USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy named by President George Washington after the United States Constitution. She is the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat. She was launched in 1797, one of six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794 and the third constructed. Joshua Humphreys designed the frigates to be the young Navy's capital ships, and so Constitution and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than standard frigates of the period. She was built at Edmund Hartt's shipyard in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts. Her first duties were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi-War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War.

Original six frigates of the United States Navy First six ships of the US Navy

The United States Congress authorized the original six frigates of the United States Navy with the Naval Act of 1794 on March 27, 1794, at a total cost of $688,888.82. These ships were built during the formative years of the United States Navy, on the recommendation of designer Joshua Humphreys for a fleet of frigates powerful enough to engage any frigates of the French or British navies yet fast enough to evade any ship of the line.

Cruisers

USS Leyte Gulf (Ticonderoga class) USSLeyteGulfCG-55.jpg
USS Leyte Gulf (Ticonderoga class)

Destroyers

<i>Arleigh Burke</i>-class destroyer class of guided missile destroyers

The Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers (DDGs) is the United States Navy's first class of destroyer built around the Aegis Combat System and the SPY-1D multifunction passive electronically scanned array radar. The class is named for Admiral Arleigh Burke, an American destroyer officer in World War II, and later Chief of Naval Operations. The class leader, USS Arleigh Burke, was commissioned during Admiral Burke's lifetime.

<i>Zumwalt</i>-class destroyer ship class

The Zumwalt-class destroyer is a class of United States Navy guided missile destroyers designed as multi-mission stealth ships with a focus on land attack. It is a multi-role class that was designed for secondary roles of surface warfare and anti-aircraft warfare and originally designed with a primary role of naval gunfire support. It was intended to take the place of battleships in meeting a congressional mandate for naval fire support. The ship is designed around its two Advanced Gun Systems, their turrets and magazines, and unique Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) ammunition. LRLAP procurement was cancelled, rendering the guns unusable, so the Navy is re-purposing the ships for surface warfare. The class design emerged from the DD-21 "land attack destroyer" program as "DD(X)".

Dock Landing Ships

<i>Whidbey Island</i>-class dock landing ship ship class

The Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship is a dock landing ship of the United States Navy. Introduced to fleet service in 1985, this class of ship features a massive well deck for the transport of United States Marine Corps (USMC) vehicles and a large flight deck for the landing of helicopters or V-22 Ospreys. The well deck was designed to hold four LCAC hovercraft, five if the vehicle ramp is raised, for landing Marines. Recent deployments have instead filled the well deck with a combination of LCU(s), AAVs, Tanks, LARCs and other USMC vehicles and gear. The Whidbey Island class of ship also uniquely benefits from multiple cranes and a shallow draft that further make it ideal for participating in amphibious operations.

<i>Harpers Ferry</i>-class dock landing ship ship class

The Harpers Ferry class of the United States Navy is a class of dock landing ships completed in the early 1990s. Modified from the Whidbey Island class, the design sacrifices landing craft capacity for more cargo space, making it closer to an amphibious transport dock type, but was not designated as such. Externally, the two classes can be distinguished by the positions of weapons: The Harpers Ferry class has the Phalanx CIWS mounted forward, and the RAM launcher on top of the bridge, while the Whidbey Island has the opposite arrangement.

Expeditionary Mobile Base

(sub-variant of the expeditionary transfer dock)

Guided Missile Submarines

Littoral Combat Ships

Mine Countermeasures Ships

Patrol Boats

Submarine Tenders

Technical Research Ship

Non-Commissioned ships (MSC)

(List includes "Support" and "Ready Reserve Force" ships)

USNS Bridge (Supply class) USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10).jpg
USNS Bridge (Supply class)

Cable Repair Ships

Cargo & Replenishment Ships

USNS Big Horn (Henry J. Kaiser-class oiler) USNS Big Horn T-AO-198.jpg
USNS Big Horn (Henry J. Kaiser-class oiler)

Crane Ships

Expeditionary Transfer Dock

High Speed Vessels

Stand-alone vessels;

Hospital Ships

The USNS Comfort Hospital ship USNS Comfort Statue of Liberty.jpg
The USNS Comfort Hospital ship

Landing Craft

LCAC LCAC-55 maneuvers to enter the well deck.jpg
LCAC

Salvage Ships

Surveillance, Intelligence & Survey Vessels

Tug Boats

Special Warfare/Coastal Riverine Force (NSW)

Surface Craft

Small Unit Riverine Craft Riverine Squadron 2 Iraq 2007.jpg
Small Unit Riverine Craft

Swimmer Delivery Vehicles

Cutters (USCG)

USCG Legend class cutter USCG National Security Cutter BERTHOLF (WMSL-750).jpeg
USCG Legend class cutter

Patrol Ships

Patrol Boats

Icebreakers

Stand-alone vessels;

Tenders

Support craft (US Army)

Logistics Support Vessel

Landing craft

Tug boats

Support craft (USAF)

Tug boats

Recovery craft

See also

Related Research Articles

The United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, and United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) use a hull classification symbol to identify their ships by type and by individual ship within a type. The system is analogous to the pennant number system that the Royal Navy and other European and Commonwealth navies use.

USCG seagoing buoy tender

The USCG seagoing buoy tender is a type of United States Coast Guard cutter originally designed to service aids to navigation throughout the waters of the United States, and wherever American shipping interests require. The U.S. Coast Guard has maintained a fleet of seagoing buoy tenders dating back to its origins in the U.S. Light House Service (USLHS). These ships originally were designated with the hull classification symbol WAGL, but in 1965 the designation was changed to WLB, which is still used today.

United States Coast Guard Cutter

United States Coast Guard Cutter is the term used by the U.S. Coast Guard for its commissioned vessels. They are 65 feet (19.8 m) or greater in length and have a permanently assigned crew with accommodations aboard. They carry the ship prefix USCGC.

There are two classes of USCG Inland Buoy Tenders.

USCGC <i>Juniper</i> (WLB-201)

USCGC Juniper (WLB-201) is the lead ship of the U.S. Coast Guard's seagoing buoy tenders. She is outfitted with some of the most advanced technological and navigational capabilities currently available.

USCGC <i>Fir</i> (WLM-212)

The United States Coast Guard Cutter Fir was the last lighthouse tender built specifically for the United States Lighthouse Service to resupply lighthouses and lightships, and to service buoys. Fir was built by the Moore Drydock Company in Oakland, California in 1939. On 22 March 1939, the U.S. Lighthouse Tender Fir was launched. She was steam driven with twin screws, 175 feet (53 m) in length, had a beam of 32 feet (9.8 m), drew 11 feet 3 inches (3.43 m) of water, and displaced 885 tons. Fir was fitted with a reinforced bow and stern, and an ice-belt at her water-line for icebreaking. She was built with classic lines and her spaces were lavishly appointed with mahogany, teak, and brass. The crew did intricate ropework throughout the ship. The cost to build Fir was approximately US$390,000. Fir's homeport was Seattle, Washington for all but one of her fifty one years of service when she was temporarily assigned to Long Beach, California when USCGC Walnut was decommissioned on 1 July 1982.

USCGC <i>Citrus</i> (WLB-300)

USCGC Citrus (WAGL-300/WLB-300/WMEC-300) was a Cactus (A)-class seagoing buoy tender built in 1942 in Duluth, Minnesota, and now operated by the navy of the Dominican Republic.

Coast Guard Station Woods Hole

United States Coast Guard Station Woods Hole is a United States Coast Guard station located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The station is home to Sector Southeast New England.

USCGC Tupelo WAGL/WLB-303, was a Cactus (A) Class 180 foot buoy tender built by Zenith Dredge Company of Duluth, Minnesota. Her keel was laid 15 August 1942, launched 28 November 1942 and commissioned on 30 August 1943. She was built as a WAGL and redesignated a WLB in 1965.

Expeditionary Transfer Dock ship class

An Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD), formerly the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP), and a sub-class variant; the Expeditionary Mobile Base (ESB), formerly the Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB), are designed to be a semi-submersible, flexible, modular platform providing the US Navy with the capability to perform large-scale logistics movements such as the transfer of vehicles and equipment from sea to shore. These ships significantly reduce the dependency on foreign ports and provide support in the absence of port availability.

USCGC <i>Cahoone</i> (WSC-131) Active-class patrol boat of the United States Coast Guard, 1927-1968

USCGC Cahoone (WPC/WSC/WMEC-131) was an Active-class patrol boat of the United States Coast Guard. Launched in 1927, she served until 1968.

<i>Active</i>-class patrol boat

The Active-class patrol boat was one of the most useful and long-lasting classes of United States Coast Guard cutters. Of the 35 built in the 1920s, 16 were still in service during the 1960s. The last to be decommissioned from active service was the Morris in 1970; the last in actual service was the Cuyahoga, which sank after an accidental collision in 1978.

USCGC <i>Cypress</i> (WLB-210)

USCGC Cypress (WLB-210) is a United States Coast Guard cutter and the tenth Juniper-class seagoing buoy tender. She is outfitted with advanced technological and navigational capabilities that allow her to be positioned correctly for exact placement of buoys through the use of controllable-pitch propellers and stern and bow thrusters.

USCGC <i>Aspen</i> (WLB-208)

USCGC Aspen (WLB-208) is the eighth cutter in the Juniper-class 225 ft (69 m) of seagoing buoy tenders. She is under the operational control of the Commander of the Eleventh Coast Guard District and is home-ported at Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco, California. Her primary area of responsibility is the coastal waters, river bars and high seas from the California-Oregon border to San Diego, California. Aspen conducts heavy lift aids-to-navigation operations, and law enforcement, homeland security, environmental pollution response, and search and rescue as directed.

USCGC Kukui (WLB-203) is the third cutter in the Juniper-class 225 ft (69 m) of seagoing buoy tenders and is the third ship to bear the name. She is under the operational control of the Commander of the Seventeenth Coast Guard District and is home-ported in Sitka, Alaska. Her primary area of responsibility is the inland and coastal waters of southeastern Alaska. Kukui conducts heavy lift aids-to-navigation operations, and law enforcement, homeland security, environmental pollution response, and search and rescue as directed.

References