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Within the umbrella of surface warfare, warships perform several specific missions: interdiction, convoy escort, amphibious warfare, naval gunfire support, and local area air defense. Interdiction involves intercepting enemy warships at sea, with the intent to engage and sink the opposing warship in a surface combat.

Surface combat involves opposing warships engaging one another in combat for the purpose of damaging or sinking the enemy. As implied by its title, surface warfare takes place on the surface of the water and is distinguished from aerial or subsea combat. Most often, surface warfare takes place between navies of opposing nations, though other ships can be involved such as merchant ships and other privately owned craft. This entry describes the types of warships and the weapon systems involved in ...

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