Blue-water navy

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The term blue-water navy is a colloquialism used to describe a maritime force capable of operating across the deep waters of open oceans. While what actually constitutes such a force remains undefined, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at wide ranges. The term used in the United Kingdom is expeditionary.

Capabilities of a blue-water navy

Blue-water (high seas) naval capability means that a fleet is able to operate on the high seas. While traditionally a distinction was made between the coastal brown-water navy (operating in the littoral zone to 200 nautical miles (370 km)) and a seagoing blue-water navy, a new term green-water navy has been created by the U.S. Navy. Green-water navy appears to be equivalent to a brown-water navy in older sources. The term brown-water navy appears to have been reduced in U.S. Navy parlance to a riverine force.

In modern warfare, the term blue-water navy implies self-contained force protection from sub-surface, surface and airborne threats and a sustainable logistic reach, allowing a persistent presence at range. In some maritime environments, such a defence is given by natural obstacles, such as the Arctic ice shelf.

Few navies can operate as blue-water navies, but "many States are converting green-water navies to blue-water navies and this will increase military use of...
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