Acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has announced plans to pursue the goal of increasing the country’s fleet to 355 warships, an aim first set by President Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.
The Navy chief’s predecessor, Richard Spencer, argued that while the goal to have a larger fleet was “aspirational”, ensuring the full capability of the existing one was much more important.
The acting Navy chief stated in the memo that he wants to achieve this goal by 2030. He also noted that the desired fleet of 355 ships will include, among other things, “unmanned underwater vehicles, and unmanned surface vehicles.
Modly admitted the possibility that the Navy will have to fight for funds from the Pentagon in order to make the 355-strong war-fleet a reality, alleging that the military should probably scale back on its urge to get as many hyper-sonic weapons as they can.
The statements by the acting Navy chief were echoed by US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, who stated that President Donald Trump was serious about boosting the Navy’s fleet, which currently has only 292 warships at its disposal.
He added that the 355 goal must be reached “not decades from now”, but much sooner in order to combat and retake control over the high seas and its lucrative trade routes.
Modly’s predecessor, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer was more skeptical about Trump’s pledge.
Spencer’s Vice Chief of Naval Operations Robert Burke went even further, saying that the Navy’s current funding allows to properly maintain a fleet of around “305 to maximum 310 ships“, but no more.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point War News 2019.