NavBase: The Naval Database


Ship types:


Historic dates:

End Year:

Royal Navy 1953 Coronation Review, Spithead

Welcome to NavBase - The Naval Database

NavBase is an interactive database of all major warships that have been in active service from the start of World War II until today. All of the major world navies are included and work is ongoing to expand the number of countries covered. Currently, NavBase has in its registry all warships of over 1,000 tons displacement as well as smaller ships from major combat types that have served since World War II from over two dozen navies (over 16,000 ships in total). Additionally, NavBase provides a calculation of tonnage totals as this is widely considered to be the most accurate comparative measure of a navy's strength. Ship service data has been collected for a wide variety of authoritative written and online sources (see the resources link for a full list) and every effort has been made to include data accurate to the day. Nevertheless, corrections and comments are welcome via the contact page. Please also note that the information provided through NavBase is entirely free for personal use but like all pieces of research, should be properly referenced if published elsewhere.

Usage of this site should be relatively straightforward: choose a country and a day and you will see the full list of major warships active at that moment. Additionally, there is a drop-down list with key historical dates as well as another list for year-end data. You can also select which types of warships appear. Eventually there will be an extensive FAQ with observations gathered from the months of compiling data, but if this is your first time using NavBase, please read through the following:

Last update: January 5th, 2019 (All navies updated and new selectable additions: Egypt, Nigeria, Philippines, Saudi Arabia)

1) A ship is considered active if it is in commission. Given that navies have different states of readiness, this can create some confusion. Decommissioning is considered the date at which a ship is no longer active. However, not all navies (including some large ones like the Royal Navy) offer reliable decommissioning dates. When a ship has been paid off or placed in reserve this will usually be assumed as the decommissioning date if the ship was never in active service again. However, a ship will appear on the database if it has been recommissioned at a later date, although only prolonged periods of inactivity will result in a break in continuity of service. When there is no data on decommissioning, the date in which a ship was stricken from the naval register will be used. When even this does not exist, the date of its scrapping will be used as a last resort. Ultimately, be warned that there is some degree of inaccuracy for certain navies during certain periods of time but overall the results should be a highly accurate reflection of the state of each navy at any given date.

2) Ships are not listed as active once they have been converted to a non-combat or auxiliary role even if this has been long before their formal decommissioning. This includes ships used for training purposes as it is possibly that they may have been fully or partially disarmed. However, ships that return to active service after training are assumed to have retained their combat capability.

3) A ship will be included in the list if its commissioning date is before the chosen date and if the decommissioning date is on or after it. This means that a ship commissioned exactly on the chosen date will not appear; it will appear only the day after. This is in order to represent the order of battle at the start of the day rather than at the end. For dates that correspond to naval battles this is important as otherwise ships sunk during the day will not appear.

4) A full selection of mine warfare and auxiliary ships have not been added to the database and given the difficulty in constructing a historical record of them (particularly auxiliary ships), it is highly unlikely they will ever be added. As such, it is strongly recommended that tonnage totals not be quoted with these ships selected as the list is far from complete. Currently the only such ships in the database are those which have been converted from other combat types or which would later be converted.

5) Note that naval figures quoted in most sources for the Royal Navy up to WW2 include those of the Commonwealth as well. A 'British Commonwealth' option is included in the country list and users are encouraged to use this for all WW2 dates.

6) The year shown for each ship in the database is the launch date rather than the commissioning date. This is to avoid transferred ships from appearing newer than they are since they will have a mor recent commissioning date.

7) Most ships are classified on the basis of their national designations except in cases where these designations are misleading; whether purposely or otherwise. Russian ships are usually classified on the basis of role rather than size (like most Western ships), which presents some complications in which case the generally agreed Western equivalent classification is used. Note that many ships were modified throughout their lifetime and will therefore appear with different classifications at different dates.

8) Large, combat-capable patrol ship classes for certain coast guards (notably the USCG) are included in the main lists, as are non-auxliaries in reserve fleets like the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.


Aguilera, R. (2016). NavBase: The Naval Database. [online] Available at: [Accessed on -insert date-]