Azerbaijani naval personnel

A landlocked navy is a naval force operated by a country that does not have a coastline. While these states are unable to develop a sea-going, blue-water navy, they may still deploy armed forces on major lakes or rivers. Such forces are often referred to as brown-water navies.

There are several reasons a landlocked country may choose to maintain a navy. If a river or lake forms a national border, countries may feel the need to protect and patrol that border with a military force. In some regions, roads may be unreliable or circuitous, and a river or lake may be the easiest way to move military forces around the country. Sometimes, possession of a body of water may actually be contested – for example, countries around the landlocked Caspian Sea have different views of how ownership should be divided.

Serbian River Flotilla guard of honor

Patrol boats of various types are the most common craft among landlocked navies. Some landlocked navies possess troop or vehicle transports, allowing ground forces to cross or travel along a lake or river.

The operation of military forces in lakes and rivers is not limited to landlocked countries. Many states maintain these forces in addition to their seagoing navy. They may be part of the same organisation (e.g. the Russian Caspian Flotilla) or not (e.g. U.S. Coast Guard).

Landlocked countries maintaining a separate naval force

Paraguayan naval infantrymen

Landlocked countries with non-independent maritime units

Retired AM-21 Százhalombatta minesweeper in Budapest, other Yugoslav-made Nestin MS-25 minesweepers are still used in Hungary

Other countries operate water-based military forces without actually establishing an independent navy—instead, responsibility may be given to a branch of a different service.


See also


  1. ^ a b The Caspian is connected to the Black Sea via the Volga and Don rivers and a linking 60 km canal that is navigable by seagoing vessels of up to 5,000 gross tons
  2. ^ John Pike. "Volga-Don Shipping Canal". Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  3. ^ Fuerza Naval Boliviana (in Spanish)
  4. ^ Warships of the Hungarian Defence Forces
  5. ^ "Az MH. 1. Tűzszerész és Hadihajós Ezred aknászhajói felvonulnak a Dunán az 1456-os nándorfehérvári diadal emléknapján". Új Szó Online. Archived from the original on 6 September 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  6. ^ "MH 1. Honvéd Tűzszerész és Hadihajós Ezred, Budapest, HU, 2001-". Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Војска Србије - Копнена војска - Јединице и установе Копнене војске - Речна флотила". Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Ukraine Resumed Construction of Gyurza-M (Project 58155) River Armored Artillery Boats".