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The Royal Navy is nicknamed the ‘Senior Service’, being the oldest of all the divisions of the Armed Forces. Whilst it has been seen to become less influential in recent years in terms of capability, Britain is right up there with the best in the world, both in terms of general ability at sea and firepower.
For thousands of years Britain has placed great emphasis on its Navy, as it well should considering it was the first country to dominate the seas on a global scale and given the fact that it is completely surrounded by sea! In modern times and with the ascent of long range warfare the face of naval warfare has changed from close quarter fighting to long distance intimidation and deterrent.
The Royal Navy is structured around one large fleet, split into different groups of a variation of ships that can be deployed around the globe or used to defend the United Kingdom should the need arise. The head of the entire Royal Navy is the Commander-in-Chief of the fleet.
The Royal Navy is responsible for holding – and if necessary deploying – the nuclear deterrent of the United Kingdom. Within its fleet belongs the Vanguard Class of four nuclear ballistic missile submarines. Other vessels include aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, patrol ships and mine sweepers.
The Royal Marines make up the infantry component of the Royal Navy. Should the Navy need to deploy soldiers onto land to help with their objectives the highly trained Marines will become involved.
The Royal Navy consists of 87 ships and approximately 42,700 trained individuals.