The US Navy is missing more than 80 major ships to meet its operational objectives by 2045

With 299 ships and a tonnage of nearly 4,5 million tons, the US Navy remains the most powerful naval force in the world, far ahead of the Chinese naval forces of the People's Liberation Army which, if they now field more than 450 major naval units, however, remain below the 2,5 million ton mark.

However, faced with the rise in power of the Chinese fleet, whose naval industry produces 3 to 5 times more destroyers and frigates per year than its US counterpart, and which hasa formidable productive reserve if needed, the US Navy General Staff has revised its needs upwards for the next 20 years, now aiming for a fleet of 381 ships in 2045, supported by 150 robotic surface and underwater units, compared to 373 just a year ago.

After going through a decade of medium-term planning and programming chaos, the US Navy, at the request of the US Congress, put in place in 2022 a classified annual report presenting the assessment of its needs, in particular in terms of format, to respond to the operational contract defined by the executive.

The objective of this document is to allow direct and unvarnished communication between the Pentagon and Congress, so as to give senators and representatives a precise, well-argued and monitored view over time of the forces and means which it considers to have need in the face of the evolution of the threat and/or of its operational contract.

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To reveal the Chinese challenge, the US Navy estimates that it must increase its format by 27% by 2045

In addition to the 150 robotic ships, the US Navy intends to both expand and harmonize its fleet over the next 20 years, with 12 aircraft carriers (+1), 12 nuclear ballistic missile submarines (+0 ), 66 nuclear attack submarines (+16), 96 destroyers and cruisers (+3), 56 frigates (+32), 31 large amphibious units (-1) or 82 logistics units (+20).

Certain categories of ship are destined to disappear, such as nuclear cruise missile submarines (four units) and mine hunters (eight units). Conversely, a new category will appear, with 18 light amphibious ships intended to support the mobility of the US Marines Corps.

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