The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the maritime force of Australia, and a part of the Australian Defence Force. The Australian Defence Force comprises the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Australian Army, and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The RAN was formed after the formation of the Federation of Australia in 1901. As the colonies were combined to form a nation, similarly, their individual navies were combined to form the Commonwealth Naval Forces. It was titled the ‘Royal Australian Navy’ in 1911. Given the location of Australia, the RAN is chiefly responsible for the nation’s defense. The Naval Headquarters (NHQ) situated in Canberra commands the RAN.
The Australian Navy is one of the most established naval forces in the South Pacific region. The fleet of the navy consists of more than 53 vessels. These include warships, auxiliary ships, patrolling boats, and submarines. RAN ships are given the prefix HMAS, which stands for ‘His/Her Majesty’s Australian Ship’.
The head of the RAN is the Chief of Navy (CN). The rank associated with the position of the Chief of Navy is Vice Admiral, which is also the highest position in the navy structure.