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HMS Bulwark

HMS Bristol

HMS Ocean

HMS Daring

HMS Artful

HMS Clyde

HMS Vanguard

HMS Lancaster

HMS Duncan

HMS Iron Duke

HMS Ledbury

HMS St Albans

HMS Sabre

HMS Shoreham

HMSML Gleaner

HMS Scott

HMS Monmouth

HMS Triumph

HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Victory

Type 26 Frigate

Type 26 Frigate

The Bulwark, an Albion-class assault ship, has a Goalkeeper close-in weapon system and a range of 8,000 miles. In 2015, the ship took part in Operation Weald, which rescued Libyan migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean. 

Length: 577 ft., 5 in.

Displacement: 21,560 tons

Caption by / Photo by Royal Navy

Commissioned in 1973, the massive vessel protected carriers from air attack in the Falklands War in 1982. The Bristol is now a training ship, berthed in Portsmouth.

Length: 507 ft.

Displacement: 7,055 tons

Caption by / Photo by Royal Navy

Shortly after this helicopter carrier was commissioned in 1998, it aided a humanitarian mission in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch. The Ocean can carry a number of different helicopters, as well as landing vessels that deposit troops on shore.

Length: 667 ft.

Displacement: 23,700 tons

Caption by / Photo by British Royal Navy

The first Type 45 destroyer in the Royal Navy's fleet, the Daring's weaponry can take on ships, aircraft, missiles and even submarines. It can also carry up to two Wildcat helicopters.

Length: 500 ft.

Displacement: 9,400 tons

Caption by / Photo by Royal Navy

An Astute-class submarine, the Artful is nuclear-powered and can circumnavigate the globe without resurfacing. It's also the first in its class to feature the Common Combat System, a high-tech sonar data processing system that helps its crew plan an attack. It will become a regular feature on Royal Navy submarines in the future.

Length: 318 ft., 3 in.

Displacement: 8,600 tons (submerged)

Caption by / Photo by British Royal Navy

Commissioned in 2007, this patrol vessel serves a number of roles, from troop insertion to search and rescue. It also can refuel an in-flight helicopter when it's unable to land. In 2015, the Clyde helped rescue passengers of the Le Boreal cruise ship, after a fire broke out in the engine room.

Length: 267 ft., 5 in.

Displacement: 2,205 tons

Caption by / Photo by British Royal Navy

Commissioned in 1993, this vessel serves a key role in the fleet. All four of the fleet's ballistic missile submarines hold the "letters of last resort," handwritten notes from the current British prime minister outlining what to do if a nuclear strike destroys the government.

Length: 491 ft., 10 in.

Displacement: 17,527 tons (submerged)

Caption by / Photo by British Royal Navy

This Type 23 frigate has aided in missions to battle narcotics, human trafficking and arms smuggling. In 2015, the Lancaster became the first ship in the fleet to be outfitted with a Wildcat attack helicopter.

Length: 436 ft., 4 in.

Displacement: 5,400 tons

Caption by / Photo by Royal Navy

In 2015, the Duncan became the first Type 45 Destroyer outfitted with the Harpoon anti-ship missile system. That year, the ship joined US Navy forces in a strike on ISIS.

Length: 500 ft.

Displacement: 9,400 tons

Caption by / Photo by British Royal Navy

In 2011, the Type 23 frigate was involved in a battle off the coast of Libya, destroying a gun battery. The ship also assisted NATO in illuminating positions held by Muammar Gaddafi, the deposed leader of the nation. Prince William spent five weeks serving on the Iron Duke in 2008. 

Length: 436 ft., 4 in.

Displacement: 5,400 tons

Caption by / Photo by Royal Navy

The Ledbury finds and clears mines, making way for bigger ships. In 1982 it helped clear the waters near the Falklands of mines left by Argentina after that conflict.

Length: 196 ft., 10 in.

Displacement: 830 tons

Caption by / Photo by British Royal Navy

This Type 23 frigate comes armed with antiair, -ship and -submarine missiles and has a helicopter landing pad. It helped evacuate British citizens trapped in Lebanon during that country's conflict with Israel in 2006.

Length: 436 ft., 4 in.

Displacement: 5,400 tons

Caption by / Photo by British Royal Navy

In 2016, this Scimitar-class fast patrol boat was involved in an incident with a Spanish vessel, when it attempted to pass in the path of a nuclear submarine from the United States' fleet. The Sabre fired warning flares at the ship.

Length: 52 ft., 6 in.

Displacement: 26 tons

Caption by / Photo by British Royal Navy

The Shoreham was commissioned in 2002 and is the Royal Navy's newest mine countermeasures vessel, an entirely different class than the Ledbury. This class is smaller than its predecessor and features a similar sonar system, making it useful in clearing mines.

Length: 172 ft., 3 in.

Displacement: 660 tons

Caption by / Photo by British Royal Navy

The smallest vessel in the fleet is also one of the oldest. Commissioned in 1983, the Gleaner is a coastal surveyor boat, collecting data on the seabed and depth of water. The ship's prefix is HMSML, or Her Majesty's Survey Motor Launch.

Length: 49 ft.

Displacement: 24 tons

Caption by / Photo by Royal Navy

The Scott is a one-of-a-kind ship in the Royal Navy's fleet. As an ocean survey vessel, it's used to scan the seabed. After the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, the Scott studied the seabed and found that the topography near the epicenter had changed.

Length: 430 ft.

Displacement: 14,900 tons

Caption by / Photo by British Royal Navy

Known as "The Black Duke," the Monmouth is the only active ship to fly a black flag, due to the actions of its namesake in 1685. The Duke of Monmouth led a failed rebellion against King James II, which led to his execution and his coat of arms being blacked out.

Length: 436 ft., 4 in.

Displacement: 5,400 tons

Caption by / Photo by Royal Navy

This Trafalgar-class submarine took part in Operation Veritas, the British contribution to the invasion of Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. In 2011, the Triumph was involved in an attack on Libyan targets as part of Operation Ellamy.

Length: 280 ft.

Displacement: 5,300 tons (submerged)

Caption by / Photo by British Royal Navy

The Queen Elizabeth is the largest warship the Royal Navy has ever built. Expected to be commissioned in late 2017, the carrier can hold up to 40 aircraft and 1,600 people. It also features the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System as part of its armament, which acts as its antiaircraft and antimissile defense.

Length: 920 ft.

Displacement: 77,800 tons

Caption by / Photo by British Royal Navy

While the Victory may no longer be sailing into battle, it's still an important vessel. Commissioned in 1778, it stands as the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel. It was the flagship at the crucial battles of Cape St. Vincent and Trafalgar in the Napoleonic Wars. Now a museum ship that civilians can visit, it remains quite the spectacle. (See more of HMS Victory on our tour here.)

Length: 227 ft., 6 in.

Displacement: 3,858 tons

Caption by / Photo by Getty Images

Currently in development is the Type 26 frigate, which will become the "workhorse" of the fleet. Set to replace the Type 23, this ship will have the nation's most advanced weaponry, including a vertical missile silo.

Caption by / Photo by Royal Navy

The Type 26 will also be able to carry multiple vehicles, from drones to Chinook helicopters, making it as versatile as it is powerful. 

Caption by / Photo by Royal Navy
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