The US Navy Needs 161 More Ships

Plus, the Navy is expanding its Hydra program and exploring a new anti-ship missile.

The US Navy Needs 161 More Ships
Credit: flickr/ Official U.S. Navy Imagery

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert told Congress on Wednesday that the U.S. Navy would need a 450-ship fleet to meet the needs of the combatant commanders, according to Miltary.com. That’s 161 ships less than the current fleet, which boasts 289 ships under new counting rules. Not surprisingly, lawmakers were not happy. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) is quoted in the article as saying, “In 2007 we met 90-percent of the combatant commander’s requirements. This year we will only meet 43 percent.”

Still, the U.S. Navy may be getting smaller but it’s also getting more advanced. For example, the U.S. Naval Institute reports that the U.S. Navy is set to begin a competition for a new anti-ship missile under the “Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW)/Increment 2 anti-ship missile” program. The missile, or some alternative, will aim to counter the “the advanced 2024 threat.”

Meanwhile, USA Today reports that DARPA is doubling its spending on its Hydra program, which the report explains as “The Pentagon is proposing dramatic increases in spending for underwater pods to store drone submarines and a variety of other seaborne drones and surveillance technology.”

While parts of Pakistan may be facing a famine in the near future, Defense News reports that the government and the military are considering increasing the country’s defense budget. On the plus side, this move should help China’s export woes.

Reuters reports that U.S. officials believe that “Iran has pursued a longstanding effort to buy banned components for its nuclear and missile programs in recent months.” They are particularly concerned with the activities of a Chinese businessman.