Growing the Navy’s fleet to 355 ships will likely require extending the service of current ships, reactivating vessels and investing heavily in the capacity of the country’s seven primary shipbuilding plants, a panel of experts said Tuesday.
But the timeframe for reaching that amount, which the Navy announced in December as the absolute minimum number of ships required for its missions, is just as important as the means in reaching it.
“Both China and Russia have taken advantage of the United States’ recent strategic focus on counterterrorism campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq to assume challenging profiles on the high seas,” Jerry Hendrix, director of the defense strategies and assessments program at the Center for a New American Security, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “To head a future crisis off, the U.S. Navy must expand rapidly enough to convince others that eventual military victory at sea is not even remotely possible. To accomplish this goal, the Navy must reach the 355-ship range within 10 years,” he said.
Read the full article at Stars and Stripes.