After 8 months of waiting, the new US Navy Shipbuilding Plan will be presented to US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper next week. It will not be elsewhere not one but three plans, to best respond to political and budgetary trade-offs that will be conducted. Although the nature and composition of the plans were not disclosed, it appears however that they are all 3 based on the same paradigm, namely the increase in volume of the fleet through increased use of automation and naval drones.
For Mark Esper, and now obviously for the Pentagon, the US Navy can no longer rely on its technological power alone and the “mass” of its buildings to meet the Chinese challenge, and will have to in the years to come, increase in volume, to be able to respond to the rapid growth of the Chinese fleet. In this sense, the annual report of the Department of Defense to Congress this year, which had thrown a paving stone in the pond by declaring that from now on, the Chinese Navy was "superior" to the US Navy, based solely on the number of units in service, is indicative of the perception of the need by the American military. Because even if indeed, Beijing aligns 350 ships and military submarines against 292 for the US Navy, the latter still has a clear advantage in terms of overall firepower, and the tonnage of its ships. But the dynamism of the Chinese shipbuilding industry, which annually produces up to 3 times the number of ships to operational equivalence than the United States, tends to rapidly reduce the gap between the two fleets.
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