The U.S. Navy needs to take steps that will ensure the fleet starts growing and improving right away if it wants to remain competitive, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson said on Tuesday in Singapore.
In a report released on Tuesday and titled The Future Navy, CNO outlined what the future fleet should look like.
The white paper’s two main conclusions are that the navy needs to grow to a projected strength of 350 units and that new platforms and operational concepts must be incorporated.
“A 355-ship Navy using current technology is insufficient for maintaining maritime superiority… we must also implement new ways of operating our battle fleet, which will comprise new types of ships,” the white paper says.
The need for more ships to be built at a faster pace is based on the advances of competitors, according to the paper. Both China and Russia posses considerable space, cyber, and nuclear forces and both are challenging U.S. influence and interests in expanding areas of the world, often in maritime spaces.
The paper also points to the necessity of new ships being capable of greater connectivity that will “enable new ways to combine ships, aircraft, and undersea forces that may enable adjustments to the battle group and other formations.”
While all of these elements need to be factored in when it comes to the future fleet, the paper stresses the fact that this improved fleet is needed in the 2020s and not the 2040s.
Read The Future Navy white paper here