The British Navy was first established in the 9th century, but did not participate in naval warfare until the early 14th century. As for the modern history of the British Royal Navy, the achievements date back to the 16th century.
The growth of capitalism increased the power of the British Navy. This force also contributed effectively to the colonial conquest of the British Empire. It was because of the powerful navy that the British Empire was later named “The Empire in which the Sun never sets”.
During World War II, Britain remained the most powerful navy in the world. Their total number of warships then reached more than 1,400, including many aircraft carriers, cruisers, submarine destroyers and amphibious ships.
Perhaps the speed of development was too fast and the force was too dispersed, after World War II, Britain gradually began to encounter difficult problems due to budget cuts, the country was severely damaged by war, the economy was very poor and their economy depends on the US. From there, the British navy began to decline.
As for the United States, after World War II, it has gained its position as a superpower. The establishment of US dollar dominance has sent the country’s position soaring. The United States also focused on developing into a naval power, and the leading position in the navy fell to the United States. Before long, the strength of the British Navy was behind that of the Soviet Union.
With the continuous reduction of the defense budget, the UK has continuously reduced the size of the navy. So far, the Royal Navy has only 80 warships of all types.
In recent years, the participation rate of British warships in international campaigns has been low, even very low. For example, in the 2011 Libyan air campaign, the British navy contributed less than the French navy.
According to information from the International Peace Research Institute, the Royal Navy currently has only six destroyers, but most of these destroyers are in port, with an average duty time of only 20%.
What is even more surprising is that two British Navy destroyers out of the six ships are rarely assigned to duty, but are often left in port.
In the current international context, some countries such as China and Russia continuously increase their maritime power to protect national interests; In that context, Britain also invested in building two of the most expensive aircraft carriers in history.
Although the number of British aircraft carriers is not much compared to the US, the UK is still a country with 2 aircraft carriers; more importantly, the UK is fully capable of researching, developing and building aircraft carriers.
Experts also say that although British military spending is somewhat less than in its previous glory, the history of strength of the past can survive and the strength of the British Royal Navy should not be underestimated.