Russian Navy

Combat Capabilities of Russian and US Navies in 2012

Russian Navy

US Navy


324000 + in reserve 124000
Types of combatant ships

Amount on the roll


Amount on the roll


Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines
(weighting factor 0)
not supposed to attend conventional war

10 0 14 0
Nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines
(weighting factor 5)

5 25 4 20
Nuclear-powered attack submarines
(weighting factor 5)

14 70 53 265
Diesel-electric submarines
(weighting factor 3)

17 51 - -
Aircraft carriers
(weighting factor 6)

1 6 10 60
Guided missile cruisers
(weighting factor 4)

4 16 22 88
Guided missile destroyers
(weighting factor 3)

13 39 62 186
Frigates / Escort ships
(weighting factor 3)

4 12 28 84
Corvettes / Littoral combat ships
(weighting factor 1)

6 6 3 3
Amphibious assault ships
(weighting factor 4)

- - 9 36
Landing dock ships
(weighting factor 3)

- - 23 69
Assault ships
(weighting factor 2)

19 38 - -
Mine countermeasures ships / minesweepers
(weighting factor 1)

29 29 14 14
Small-size gunnery ships, small-size ASW ships,
small-size missile ships, patrol and missile boats
(weighting factor 1)

65 65 11 11

187 357 253 836

1 1 1,35 2,34
Supply, training, hydrographic and tentative ships
(weighting factor 1)

280 280 198 198

467 637 451 1034

1 1 0,97 1,62

According to counted data, in conditions of equal amount of warships, Russian Navy combat strength is almost twice less than one's of the United States Navy basically due to deficiency of powerful strike expeditionary forces and insufficient amount of multi-role nuclear submarines and combatant ships of main classes.

The US Navy combat capabilities in comparison with Russian Navy increased as the result of commissioning of new submarines and surface ships with extended battleworthiness into the US Navy in 2012.

Editorial note

"Balanced state of the Navy is based on the best and permanent combination of militant forces elements and resources, when the Navy can implement it's capability to run different missions both in conditions of nuclear and any possible war", the legendary Commander of The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Navy admiral Gorshkov S.G. said.

Central Navy Portal has been leading the independent research of ship lists and statuses of two world-power Navies and Russian Navy primarily, estimating it's combat strength in comparison with the US Navy, for several years.

In the research Central Navy Portal uses only open source data of Russian (VPK News, Vlast magazine) and foreign (Jane's
) published and online news sources.

The amount on the roll calculated with assumptions on the point of supply vessels, auxiliary navy, inactive ships and calculation methodology of Russian Navy and the US Navy amount. Central Navy Portal is not an academical source and presumes inaccuracy.

Other sources are not agreed on the calculation methodology of US Navy amount, for example VPK News reported about 288 units of the US Navy and Jane's specified 306 units.

Considering combat capabilities calculation of the Navies, Central Navy Portal prefers to follow traditional methodologies, deliberately avoiding combat strength calculation, all the more the term combat strength has a lot different definitions. We do not dare to calculate the combat strength of the Navy and clearly understand difficulties of total estimation of armament, equipment, control and supply systems and other factors. That is the job of the General Staff.

Central Navy Portal uses it's own calculation methodology. The table above represents not only the ships amount of two Navies, but also compares their combat capabilities.

Particular coefficient is assigned to every table row; as in traditional methodologies of combat strength calculation we use weighted average coefficients, presenting combat characteristics of the ships in total. The coefficient choice is not fully unspecified, but based on overall estimation of the various classes ships.

Zero coefficient is assigned to nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines regardless of their remarkable fighting power. We do not calculate nuclear shield sea component, because nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines are not supposed to attend conventional war and in order to bring out of the shadows real proportion of Russian and the US Navies.

Other coefficients were in general accepted by the readers.

Evident simplicity of calculation yielded the result, giving an insight into public anxiety about Russian Navy state.

If the General Staff and the Ministry of Defense understand the combat capability decreasing reasons, table index will present direction and amount of the change.


1. Combat capability herein is overall index of military parity displaying quantitative and combat power ratio between Russian Navy and US Navy which is the world's largest fleets. Weighting factors are used for comparative assessment of various types of warships.

2. The figures may differ from official (real) quantity. The table does not contain auxiliary ships, mothballed or being under long-term repair (over 3 years) ships. The analysis was made only on the basis of publicly open sources.

3. As long as amount of ships on the roll is much greater than combat-ready ones, real balance of combat capabilities may differ.

4. Information shown in the table expresses combat capabilities of classes and single ships not in full. Detailed description can be found on Central Navy Portal webpages.

Combat Capabilities - 2012
Combat Capabilities - 2011
Combat Capabilities - 2010
Combat Capabilities - 2009
Combat Capabilities - 2007

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