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Sealift is a term used predominantly in military logistics and refers to the use of cargo ships for the deployment of military assets, such as weaponry, military personnel, and material supplies. It complements other means of transport, such as strategic airlifters, in order to enhance a state's ability to project power. A state's sealift capabilities may include civilian-operated ships that normally operate by contract, but which can be chartered or commandeered during times of military necessity to supplement government-owned naval fleets.

Sealift shipping falls into three broad categories: dry cargo freighters, liquid tankers, and passenger ships. During joint operations, dry cargo ships may transport equipment and supplies required to conduct and sustain the operation; tankers carry fuel; and passenger ships carry troops to the theater and allow the evacuation of noncombatants or those in need of medical aid.

While ships are slower than their airborne counterparts and may require port facilities to unload their cargo, their larger hauling capacity allows them to transport heavy armoured forces or bulky supplies that only the largest strategic airlifters (such as the C-5 Galaxy) could normally handle, and in much greater quantities.<!-- ref littoral warfare here?-->

Some smaller navies have built multi-role vessels that combine a frigate or patrol vessel role with a sealift capability. The Royal Danish Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy HMNZS Canterbury being two...
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