Special Report

The Fastest Ships and Submarines In The US Navy

An American general recently predicted a war with China over Taiwan in 2025 in a memo leaked to NBC News. The island nation lies just 97 miles east of the Chinese mainland. Based on current relations with Taiwan, the official State Department position is that the U.S. maintains its “capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of Taiwan.” 

If a conflict arises, the U.S. Navy, the world’s powerful maritime force, will play a key role in the defense of Taiwan. (This is the world’s largest navy.)

To determine the fastest warships in the U.S. military, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed an online database of military vehicles, aircraft, and vessels, Military Factory’s list of active U.S. military naval vessel classes. We also relied on several other sources, including Military-Today, and ranked all of the Navy’s warships according to the top speed of each vessel. Data on crew count and the year each vessel entered service also came from Military Factory. Supplemental information on how many vessels are in service in each class came from the World Directory of Modern Military Warship

The U.S. Navy has 243 surface and underwater warships: aircraft carriers, guided missile destroyers, amphibious ships, and submarines, among other classes of vessels. And some of these are considerably faster than others.

The Ford-class aircraft carrier and the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier classes have by far the biggest crews of any ships on the list and are also among the top 10 fastest ships in the naval fleet. Bothhave top speed of 30 knots, or 34.5 miles per hour.

Four submarine classes – the Ohio, the Virginia, the Los Angeles, and the Seawolf classes – are on the list. Their speeds range from 28.8 mph (25 knots) for the Ohio class to 40.3 mph (35 knots) for the Seawolf class – the speediest submarine and tied for third fastest among all warships. (Also see, 11 new warships that will join the U.S. Navy fleet.)

There are three classes of amphibious ships in the list – San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, the America-class amphibious assault ship, and the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. They tend to be slower, with the fastest reaching 26.5 mph (23 knots). Still, their role could be crucial in a successful defense of Taiwan.

Click here to see the fastest ships and submarines in the US Navy. 

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