USA want to massively expand and modernize the navy. China has the largest naval fleet in the world, according to the Pentagon. US Secretary of Defense Esper announces large investments in its own naval forces with a view to the rival in the Pacific.
USA want to massively expand and modernize the navy
In the competition with China for supremacy in the Pacific, the US wants to invest in its naval forces. Defense Secretary Mark Esper presented a concept on Wednesday according to which the Navy is to be expanded to 355 ships in the coming decades. There are currently 293. The modernized fleet is to include “autonomous” ships, submarines and unmanned aircraft.
According to the concept paper, the expansion of the US naval forces will cost tens of billions of dollars by 2045. The plan aims to ensure the superiority of the US fleet over the Chinese naval forces. Speaking at an event organized by the Rand Corporation think tank, Esper said China is the United States’s biggest security threat.
Indo-Pacific as “the epicenter of a great power competition with China”
According to a recent Pentagon report, the People’s Republic has the world’s largest naval fleet. It consists of a total of 350 ships and submarines. However, Esper said the Chinese Navy lacks combat strength and technological capabilities.
The US Secretary of Defense sees the Indo-Pacific as the “main arena” for the US armed forces. The region is not only of great importance as a hub of global trade, it is also “the epicenter of a great power competition with China”.
In this region, the Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea in particular are causing strong tensions. China claims practically the entire South China Sea, which is rich in raw materials. Washington regards Beijing’s territorial claims as illegal and has repeatedly dispatched warships to the region.