Indian Navy

Explained: All About Naval Weaponry

Hello Defence Lovers! In this article, we are going to discuss various naval weaponry which is used in modern naval warfare. We will also discuss which one of these are used by the Indian navy.

Naval Gun

Naval guns are oldest naval weapons. As per records Julies Caesar first came up with the idea to mount a catapult on a ship. Since 14th century ships are carrying cannons as their primary weapons. During the two world war, these naval guns were the primary weapons of naval warfare along with torpedoes. In modern naval warfare, naval guns are multipurpose versatile and pocket friendly weapons. In general, the ships like frigates, destroyers and cruisers carry only one naval gun mounted on the bow. Some examples are Oto melara 76mm cannon, BAE Mark 45 cannon etc.


A torpedo is a naval underwater weapon that is equipped with a propeller, explosive warhead and a guidance system. It is used both against surface ships as well as submarines. Often “Fish”, a military slang, is used for the torpedo. These were extensively used during the second world war. Even today these are the primary weapons of the submarines.

Cruise missiles

cruise missile is a type of guided missile used against terrestrial targets or surface targets, that remains in the atmosphere and covers the major portion of its trajectory cruising at a constant velocity. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver large warheads over long distances with high precision and sometimes at supersonic speed.

In Modern naval warfare cruise missiles are primary anti-surface weapons. These can be fired from surface ships, submarines, aircraft and even from coastal based launchers. These are often stored in vertical launch systems or angled tube launchers. Cruise missiles are of various types depending upon their cruising speeds- subsonic missiles like tomahawk, supersonic like Brahmos/P 800 Onik, hypersonic missiles like zircon. Cruise Missiles are one of the most important naval weaponry in modern naval combat


naval mine is an explosive device placed in water to damage or destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are laid and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, any vessel. They usually get triggered by the vibrations in the water.

In general, mines are laid by submarines through their torpedo tubes. Mines can also be laid by surface ships and aircraft. The mines are of various types which. The most common and effective one which are the submersible type which remains submerged and anchored to a weight placed at the seabed. Mines are often used to create blockades, block entrance to harbour, as a protective barrier and in various other ways.

Air Defence Surface To Air Missiles

A surface to air missile is a type of missile designed to engaged in coming aerial threats. The SAMs on board various naval ships are the primary defence weapons. These are often used to neutralize in coming cruise missiles, hostile aircraft and other aerial threats. These often rely on the Ship’s radar guidance. These are of various types and of various ranges. The modern SAMs are stored in missile silos or VLS cells.

Close In Weapon Systems

close-in weapon system is a point-defence weapon system for detecting and destroying short-range incoming missiles and hostile enemy aircraft which have penetrated the outer defences, typically mounted shipboard in a naval capacity. 

CIWS are basically radar-guided rapid-firing cannons (except few cases). These often contain multiple barrels and have a very high rate of fire. These are the last-ditch weapons for the defence of the vessel. As the anme suggests these only work when the threats gets too close to the ship ( less than 4 km) and other counter measures have failed. Some exceptional CIWS like RIM 116 use missiles. Kashtan uses a combination of missiles and cannons.

So these were the most used modern naval weaponry. In modern naval warfare there is a huge diversity of weapons unlike previous times. The world of naval weaponry is also evolving very fast and we can expect directed energy weapons in the near future as well! The future has lots of possibilities!


Sheershoo Deb

I am a defense aspirant preparing to be an officer in the prestigious Indian armed forces. Earning the prestigious blue uniform is my dream.

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