Expect a naval plan with 500 ships, says CNO

SAN DIEGO – The Navy’s long-range shipbuilding plan should include at least 500 ships with and without a crew, based on recent exercises and several years of analysis, the service’s chief officer said Friday.

“We do a lot of work to look at things differently,” he said. Mike Gildey in front of an audience at WEST 2022 – thinking about how we will fight in a different, distributed way across the vast ocean, like the Pacific, in terms of integrating all domains at once.

The Chief of Naval Operations has compiled a list of ship types and figures that can be expected in the long run.

“My view of aircraft carriers remains the same: I think we need 12 aircraft carriers,” Gildai said. “I think we need a strong landing force that includes probably nine amphibians with a large deck and another 19 or 20 [smaller amphibious warships] support them ”.

“Sixty destroyers and probably 50 frigates. Seventy strike submarines and a dozen submarines with ballistic missiles. About 100 support vessels. And probably looking to the future, 150 drones, he said.

The fleet plan, which follows from ongoing assessment work, will be the fourth for the Navy in recent years. This will be after 2019 comprehensive assessment of the structure of the navy; Battle Force 2045 2020, completed under then-Defense Minister Marc Esper; and the first long-range shipbuilding of the Biden administration document, released last June. (See the Congressional Research Service for more information recently updated report on the structure of the navy.)

On Friday, the CNO said that Battle Force 2045 was “the one on which I based my best advice” because it was headed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, not just the Navy and Marines.

“Based on that, based on Large-scale exercise we did over the summer, based integrated combat problem We have just made about 100 unmanned platforms in the 5th Fleet in the last few weeks, I came to the conclusion, according to the analysis, that we need a navy with more than 500 ships, ”he said.

Gildai added: “I think that such a naval force, such a distributed force, is in line with the analysis we see in the Joint Staff and [the Office of the Secretary of Defense] with The concept of joint combat operations. I think it speaks to the vulnerabilities we hear about being announced by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the chairman’s risk assessment. ”

Gildai also said the Navy continues to reduce the number of ships lost by unexpected delays in the shipyard’s work, which has been in the spotlight since he took over the Navy’s top post in 2019. That year, he said, the fleet lost 7,700 days on such delays. Last year, that number dropped to 2,700, “and the goal is to reduce it to zero,” he said. He said the progress was much less at the expense of throwing money at the problem and much more from better planning.

He added that more than half of those days had been consumed by the few remaining Ticonderoga-class cruisers, ships on which the Gildai had asked Congress’ permission to resign. He said negotiations on this year’s budget began with a demand to keep seven Ticos, and the Navy managed to reduce that to two in the 2022 defense permit law.

“I would like the number to be zero,” he said.

The navy currently has about 100 ships, including nearly 30 in the European Command area, nearly as many in the western Pacific and a contingent in the Central Command region, the Guild said. Expect a naval plan with 500 ships, says CNO

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