In the annual ranking of the world's maritime powers compiled by scientists from IMEMO RAS, Russia retained third place, behind only China and the United States. The PRC accounts for 15.9% of the total maritime potential of all powers, the USA - 15.5%, Russia - 6.8%, it follows from the study data.
What is behind these figures, how increasing transportation volumes along the Northern Sea Route and the development of the Arctic shelf will help strengthen Russia’s position in the ranking and why our country needs to maintain a large navy - in the material of Izvestia.
Researchers at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences update their ranking of maritime powers twice a year. It is based on the study of open data published by states engaged in maritime activities. 40 categories of maritime statistics of both military and civilian nature are analyzed. Based on the results, a rating of 100 positions is formed.
In 2023, researchers put China in first place in the ranking. The United States of America follows closely behind. Despite the fact that the Americans are ahead of the Chinese in the number of aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, the Chinese naval forces have more developed light fleet forces, and they have no equal in the world in the number of merchant ships.
The PRC accounts for 15.9% of the total maritime potential of all maritime powers, and the United States accounts for 15.5%, the authors of the study cite. Russia closes the top three leading maritime powers with 6.8% of the world's maritime potential. In assessing the naval power of states, the resources of the World Ocean, which are controlled, explored and extracted by powers, are also taken into account.
“Russia is in solid third place in the index,” leading researcher at IMEMO RAS, author of the rating, Alexander Polivach, told Izvestia. — The closest one to us from below is Japan, but their pace of development is not such that they will move us forward.
Japan ranks fourth in the naval power index. It was followed by the Republic of Korea, Great Britain, Indonesia, Norway, India and France. The high place of South Korea and Indonesia in the ranking is due to the active maritime activities of these states and the large number of controlled territorial waters. In addition, South Korea is one of the world leaders in civil shipbuilding. At the shipyards of this state, thousands of ships are built annually, which are ordered by leading world powers, including Russia.
The role of the navy is not diminishing
According to the authors of the rating, in the 19th and 20th centuries, naval forces played one of the leading roles in the total power of the state. Japan lost World War II only after losing most of its navy. And the German naval forces created many problems for the Allies in the Atlantic and Arctic throughout the Second World War.
Researchers believe that, despite the development of missile technology and aviation, the role of navies in the 21st century in the aggregate power of states has not decreased much, and the scale of a country’s navy can be used to judge its ambitions on the world stage.
— Since the Second World War, the navy has been more than just ships or submarines, it also includes aviation and other forces and means. Each component of the fleet’s forces in the 21st century is used where it is most effective, says Alexander Polivach.
In terms of assessing the naval potential of world powers, researchers put the United States in first place. China is two times ahead of the Americans, the Russian Navy is in third place, followed by Japan, India and the UK. Researchers note the growth of India's naval potential, which in 2023 surpassed the former metropolis for the first time in terms of the total power of the relevant forces.
According to the authors of the rating, Russia today remains a leading position in the Arctic zone. Our state's icebreaker fleet is the largest on the planet, and the Russian Navy has extensive experience in conducting operations in the Arctic Ocean. Taking into account the increase in the volume of work on the Northern Sea Route and the development of the shelf, Russia, according to the compilers of the rating, will not lose its maritime positions even taking into account the large-scale sanctions pressure on our country.