The Spanish Navy (Spanish: Armada Española) is the maritime branch of the Spanish Armed Forces and one of the oldest active naval forces in the world. The Spanish navy was responsible for a number of major historic achievements in navigation, the most famous being the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and the first global circumnavigation by Magellan and Elcano. For several centuries, it played a crucial logistical role in the Spanish Empire and defended a vast trade network across the Atlantic Ocean between the Americas and Europe and across the Pacific Ocean between Asia and the Americas.
The Spanish Navy was the most powerful maritime force in the world in the 16th and 17th centuries and possibly the world`s largest navy at the end of the 16th century and in the early 17th century. Reform under the Bourbon dynasty improved its logistical and military capacity in the 18th century, for most of which Spain possessed the world's third largest navy. In the 19th century, the Spanish Navy built and operated the first military submarine, made important contributions in the development of destroyer warships, and achieved the first global circumnavigation by an ironclad vessel.
The main bases of the Spanish Navy are located in Rota, Ferrol, San Fernando and Cartagena.