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NATO warships revealed: How big is the 30 member alliance navy?

Johnson says 'no way' Ukraine will join NATO 'any time soon'

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has been monitoring the war in Ukraine closely and preparing its forces to respond to Russian aggression, if the conflict spills over the country’s borders. The military alliance is made up of 30 members and can call upon one of the largest fighting forces in the world.

According to Statista, NATO countries own a combined total of 2,049 military ships – correct as of March 2022.

Within this total are:

  • Patrol boats – 298
  • Minesweepers – 153
  • Submarines – 144
  • Frigates – 135
  • Destroyers – 112
  • Corvettes – 56
  • Aircraft carriers – 17

Where are NATO’s military ships stationed?

A number of NATO’s navy ships are patrolling the Mediterranean Sea as part of its naval mission, Operation Sea Guardian.

Operation Sea Guardian provides maritime situational awareness to allies, as well as supporting counter-terrorism operations at sea.

It could also uphold freedom of navigation if requested by allies.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, NATO deployed more ships and conducted further naval exercises.

Last week, one of the UK’s two largest warships, HMS Prince of Wales, was deployed to lead a NATO task force to the Arctic.

Known as NATO’s Maritime High Readiness Force – an international task group formed to deal with major global events – it performed the biggest naval exercise in Norway for 30 years.

The occasion marked the first time one of the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers had been operated in the Arctic.

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At present the majority of NATO’s warships remain stationed in their respective member states.

According to Armed Forces.EU, Russia’s navy is estimated to be 314 strong and include 16 destroyers.

Moscow’s superior strength at sea compared to Ukraine has allowed it to establish a stranglehold on the Black Sea and cut off supply routes to Kyiv’s southern cities.

Russia’s forces have already seized the settlements of Melitopol and Kherson, while Mariupol has been besieged practically since the conflict began, nearly three weeks ago.

What is NATO?

Formed after the conclusion of World War Two in 1949, NATO initially was made up of 12 founding members.

During the event of an armed attack against any one member state, other NATO allies will come to their aid.

Today, the alliance is made up of 30 members, including the UK, US, Canada, France and Germany.

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