The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following federation of the Australian Colonies in 1901, the former colonial navies merged to become the Commonwealth Naval Forces. From this early fleet, the Royal Australian Navy was officially established in 1913 to become the new navy of the Commonwealth of Australia.
The Royal Navy continued to support the RAN and provide additional blue-water defence capability in the Pacific up to the early years of World War II. Then, rapid wartime expansion saw the acquisition of large surface vessels and the building of many warships and patrol boats. In the decade following the war the RAN acquired a small number of aircraft carriers, the last of these paying off in 1982.
Keywords Australian Defence Force (ADF) defence