Naval vessels are ships or boats employed by a countries Navy, or similarly by paramilitary organizations. Naval vessels generally are exempt from international regulation; however, increasingly are being built to classification standards - particularly for non-combat auxiliaries - as a means to reduce costs.
Unlike merchant ships, were cargo capacity and operating costs drive profitability and thus the design, naval ships are focused on life-cycle costs and capability.
Naval vessels increasingly have been turning to 'COTS' - 'Commercial, Off The Shelf' design elements to reduce costs. Similarly, commercial vessels are increasingly prioritizing performance, such as container ships and ferrys with speed, or offshore vessels with all-weather stationkeeping and rescue capabilities. Government vessels are also being designed with more elements traditionally prioritized by naval vessels, such as command capabilities for disaster relief, helicopter decks & sensor suites for research, & stealth features for coast guard, interdiction, & policing roles. Both types of vessels have seen increasing trends in;
Unlike commercial vessels, where their use generates income & so can be expected to be operational 80-90% of the time (often at 85-90% MCR), naval vessels cost money to operate & are rarely used at their full capability. For example, a typical mid-sized warship will have gas turbines for high-speed operations, but may transit on one or two diesel engines at a fraction of the power/fuel consumption (i.e., CODOG, CODAG). Navy vessels also have large crews, allowing for continual maintenance cycles where manpower is not a major consideration.
There are many types of naval ships;