The importance of maritime power has been demonstrated time and again in recent years as naval buildups in the name of maritime sovereignty, natural-resource protection, and national pride grow ever more common across many parts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America. Warship acquisition programs in these regions are flourishing as new ships, submarines, and naval aircraft spiral into service to meet rapidly proliferating requirements. In North America and Europe, however, the exact opposite is taking place as navies continue to cut back, protecting domestic economies weakened by recession.
This review of the world’s navies presents a snapshot of activities and developments during the past year. It is arranged by region, with nations discussed alphabetically under each subheading.