The names of commissioned ships of the United States Navy
all start with USS
, meaning 'United States Ship'. Non-commissioned, civilian-manned vessels of the U.S. Navy have names that begin with USNS
, standing for 'United States Naval Ship'. A letter-based hull classification symbol
is used to designate a vessel's type. The names of ships are selected by the Secretary of the Navy
. The names are that of states, cities, towns, important persons, important locations, famous battles, fish, and ideals. Usually, different types of ships have names originated from different types of sources.
Modern aircraft carriers
use nuclear reactors
for power. See United States Naval reactor
for information on classification schemes and the history of nuclear powered vessels.
Modern cruisers, destroyers and frigates are called Surface combatants
and act mainly as escorts for aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, auxiliaries and civilian craft, but the largest ones have gained a land attack role through the use of cruise missiles
and a population defense role through Missile defense
See List of ships of the United States Navy
for a more complete listing of ships past and present.
are the major strategic arm of the U.S. Navy, which has the largest carrier fleet in the world. The carriers allow U.S. air power
to reach most areas of the world.
Due to their ability to put most nations within striking distance of U.S. air power, aircraft......