Instead of investing in huge aircraft carriers, which are only surrounded by a major air force and which are immobilized several months each year for maintenance work, the Pentagon wants to build ships and submarines capable of patrolling the unmanned oceans by 2045. and without interruption.

“We need to invest more in shipbuilding, which means we need to go back to a percentage for the US Navy budget similar to that of the Reagan era: 13%, while today it is 11%,” Mark Esper said on the occasion. a colloquium at the headquarters of the Rand Corporation think tank.

The Pentagon’s draft budget for 2021 provides $ 207 billion for the US Navy. An increase of 2% represents 4 billion dollars more that could be allocated every year to the construction of new warships, notes AFP, taken over by agerpres.ro.

“In the face of the destabilizing activities of the Chinese military, especially in the maritime field, the United States must be prepared to deter any conflict and, if necessary, to fight and win at sea,” the Pentagon chief said. set a goal to equip a total of 355 warships in the next 10 years, compared to 293 today.

To maintain U.S. dominance at sea by the 2045s, the goal is a US Navy “more balanced in its capabilities to fight in the air, at sea and on the seabed,” he added.

Mark Esper spoke of larger and smaller battleships, remotely piloted surface vessels and submarines, even fully autonomous, as well as more large and high-capacity submarines.

Autonomous ships, such as the Sea Hunter prototype first unveiled in 2016, will be able to “fire projectiles, place mines, conduct enemy supply and surveillance missions,” the defense secretary noted. “There will be a major change in the way we conduct naval battles in the years and decades to come,” said Mark Esper.