US Wants to Increase Attack Submarine Fleet to 80 Vessels By 2045, Esper Says
01:28 GMT 07.10.2020(updated 01:43 GMT 07.10.2020)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper has unveiled the Pentagon's plan for building up a Navy that proposes having up to 80 attack submarines in service by 2045.
"Under our proposal, Battle Force 45 will posses the following characteristics: first, a larger and more capable submarine force," Esper said on Tuesday. "The study reached a clear consensus on the need to rapidly increase [inaudible] of attack submarines, the most survivable strike platform in a future great power conflict, to the range of 70 to 80 in the fleet."
Esper added that the US Navy should, at the minimum, quickly begin building three new Virginia-class submarines a year.
The proposal aims to have over 500 manned and unmanned ships in the US Navy by 2045, including between eight to 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and six light aircraft carriers to maintain a global presence in a conflict with major powers, Esper said.
The plan also proposes having 60 to 70 smaller combatant ships by 2045, Esper asserted.
"The Marine Corps is currently in the process of implementing its force structure plan, and I support the Commandant's vision to recalibrate to great power competition," the Trump appointee said.
The 25-year plan, called "Battle Force 45," will be sent to Congress in the near future, Esper offered.
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