The Pentagon plans to reduce the number of the US aircraft carriers
WASHINGTON, (BM) – The U.S. Department of Defense Analytical Center proposed reducing the number of aircraft carriers, saving the fleet from two of them. The report also provides for a change in the structure of the country’s naval forces as a whole. More attention should be paid to unmanned vehicles, which are easier to sacrifice because of their lower cost, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defense News.
These changes are consistent with the Pentagon’s desire to reduce the importance of aircraft carriers as a central element in building the fleet, and not to increase the number of destroyers and cruisers in the future. Analysts consider the structure of the Navy with nine aircraft carriers and 65 unmanned surface ships or vessels with a small crew to be optimal.
The report provides for the use of 80 to 90 large surface ships and an increase in the number of small combat units from 55 to 70, which is significantly more than what is currently in service. The navy is simultaneously working on its own assessment of the new structure, which should be closely linked to tight integration with the marines.
According to Jerry Hendrix, a retired military analyst with Telemus Group Navy, reducing the number of aircraft carriers will forever change the possibility of a permanent presence of the U.S. Navy in various regions of the globe and make it necessary to rethink the military doctrine itself.
“The deployment models that we have installed and still maintain have been developed for 15 aircraft carriers. So, they all fall apart. It will change the reality. Such a move would signal a new navy deployment scheme,” Business Insider quoted him as saying.
Reducing the number of aircraft carriers may leave American forces in some areas of the globe in an emergency without their support. If there are nine of them, then the Navy will actually have six or seven at any given time. One, as a rule, is under refueling and overhaul, another one or two is under maintenance.
The report also indicates that the surface fleet needs to radically change in order to counter the Chinese threat. At the end of last year, Admiral Michael Guilday, chief of the main staff of the US Navy, said that it’s difficult to fight ships worth two billion dollars with an adversary that produces small unmanned aerial vehicles at very high speeds. The United States needs to “change the way of thinking” in this regard.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has shown great interest in the structure of the Navy. In March, he ordered a series of military games and exercises be held in the near future to find ways for a “lighter” navy. However, the head of the Pentagon noted that any important decisions will be based on a new plan, which will be prepared next summer.
“I think it will really be a new foundation. He will give us a general direction in which we should go, and I think that this will greatly change the situation in terms of the future structure of the fleet, command and marine corps,” said Esper.
According to him, the minister sees the great importance of maintaining aircraft carriers in the structure of the Navy. They demonstrate American power, American prestige, attract people’s attention and are a deterrent. “They give us great opportunities,” Esper said, emphasizing that this is not a complete rejection of this type of ship.
There are now about 20 small surface warships in the US Navy. Another 15 should be built under contracts. In the future, 20 frigates of the next generation. Big changes must occur in the number of unmanned surface combat weapons.
“We can create ships that will be controlled by a small crew, but depending on the scenario, at some point in time they can become unmanned. This would allow us to quickly increase their number. I believe that we can reach a number of 355 units or more by 2030,” said Esper.
A family of unmanned surface ships is being developed, designed to “strengthen the offensive strike for less money.” They increase the number of targets that the Chinese military will have to find in battle.
Recently, the US military has expressed concern about the testing of Russian anti-satellite missiles, which “threaten the United States and its allies in space.”
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