Warship types

Warship types through the centuries
Aircraft carrier

An aircraft carrier is a ship with a flat deck that allows aircraft to take off and land whilst at sea and acts as a sea going airbase. The aircraft carrier is capable to operate, service,  arm and operate sircraft of various sorts.
The Royal Navy is a world leader in the design and operation of aircraft carriers and their craft.

Amphibious assault ship

The amphibious assault ship is a warship designed to employ air, ground and sea support to land ground forces on enemy territory by an amphibious assault. These ships may also be called commando carrier, helicopter carrier or amphibious assault carrier. In the Royal Navy, they typically support the Royal Marine Commandos. Carrying assault landing craft, helicpters and commandos with their equipment.

Armoured cruiser

The armored cruiser was a warship in the Royal Navy designed to operate cruising long range and acting independently. It was designed to and capable to defeat most ships excluding the battleship where it would be able to outrun.

The type was called the Armoured cruiser because of its belt amour plating made of iron or later steel, around its hull.

HMS Antrim, armoured cruiser of the royal navy at anchor.

Armoured frigate

The armoured frigate was the beginning of the ironclad warships in the Royal Navy. The traditional wooden frigate of the mid-nineteenth century began to be deisgned with iron plate armour belting.

Aviation training & hospital ship

The Battlecruiser are the larger of the cruisers with the size and capability of a battleship, however, less armament and faster speeds.

During the First World War the battle cruisers were said to be the spearhead of the Royal Navy, British naval forces.
Typical battlecruiser of the Royal Navy.


During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the battleship was a symbol of naval dominance and national might. They were the most powerful and usually largest warship type.

In the Royal Navy, the battleship were designed with extensive armor protection and large-caliber guns for primary armament with less speed capability.


The bireme is an ancient warship with two files of oarsmen on each side. The name bireme comes from "bi-" meaning two and "-reme" meaning oar.

These warships were known to be used by the Romans during their second invasion of Britain.

Capital ship

A large warship such as a battleship or aircraft carrier, usually the primary warship of the fleet. Could be regarded as the most powerful, or the largest in size, or the modernist of design, or the pride of the navy.

Commerce raider

A warship designed and operated in a form of naval warfare used to destroy or disrupt logistics of the enemy on the open sea by attacking its merchant shipping, rather than engaging its combatants.
THE WORLD WAR - Commerce Raiders

SMS Karlsruhe, German commerce raider


Historically, a corvette was a sailing warship with one tier of guns. A fast, small frigate.

In modern times, it is a small warship designed for convoy escort duty. Fast, lightly armed, smaller than a destroyer. During the Second World War it was used extensively for escort duties and anti-submarine warfare.

Depot Ship
Diesel-electric submarine
Dock landing ship auxiliary
Fast attack craft
Fifth Rate
First Rate
Forward repair ship
Fourth Rate
Guided missile destroyer
Heavy cruiser
Helicopter carrier
Hospital ship
Ironclad battleship
Ironclas Ram
Landing Craft Air Cushion
Landing Craft Utility
Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel
Light cruiser
Midget submarine
Missile boat
Naval drifter
Naval trawler
Nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine
Nuclear powered Fleet submarine
Offshore patrol vessel
Petrol-electric submarine
Pocket battleship
Pre-dreadnought battleship
Protected cruiser
Replenishment ship
Rescue submersible submarine
Ro-ro sealift
Scout cruiser
Seaplane tender
Second class cruiser
Second class protected cruiser
Second Rate
Sixth Rate
Steam-electric submarine
Third class protected cruiser
Third Rate
Torpedo boat