A Green-Water Navy
is a naval term that refers to a naval force whose power projection capability is regional in nature. This is a relatively new terminology, as earlier non blue-water navies used to be collectively referred to as brown-water navy
Green-water navies are usually capable of sending their naval ships overseas on friendly port-visits, for joint-exercise with other navies and can sustain short-term regional deployments. But usually they either lack the ability for sustained long-distance combat operations or their naval-doctrine does not envisage deployments far away from their home bases.
In comparison to Green-Water Navy, a Blue-water navy
is one which has a capability to project power anywhere across all oceans and is able to sustain itself for long-duration deployment far away from the home base. All Blue-water navy
have aircraft carriers
in their fleet, to provide air cover for defensive as well as offensive operations.
Till some years back, one main difference between Blue-water Navy and Green-water navies was that Green-Water navies usually lacked aircraft carriers, and depended on land-based aircraft for air cover. However, in the current scenario, there are some navies which though do not technically qualify as Blue-water navy
, but nevertheless can deploy full fledged Carrier Battle Group centered around an Aircraft Carrier, and these navies are considered a force to reckon with, for example - Italian Navy.