The U.S. Navy maintains a war fleet composed of aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines. Filling out the fleet are littoral combat ships designed for operations close to shore.
The U.S. Navy's ships have military, support and humanitarian missions. Because aircraft carriers and submarines are considered the most important ships in the fleet, the Navy protects them with support vessels including cruisers and destroyers. These vessels are powerful warships that can operate on their own or as part of a task force.
The U.S. Navy's fleet of aircraft carriers, which are the most powerful ships in the world, are the largest warships ever made. Each one is considered a floating city and has its own ZIP code. Carriers act as the flagships of battle groups and carry American power across vast stretches of ocean.
U.S. Navy submarines, which are some of the most advanced ships on the sea, are capable of operating above or below the surface of the ocean. They deliver Navy SEAL teams to hostile areas and collect research and data on the enemy without being noticed. They can shoot torpedoes to take out enemy ships and submarines and fire ballistic missiles to strike targets on land. They are also a platform for launching nuclear missiles.