The United States continues to count the amount of huge costs to be incurred by the country for the sake of a sharp increase in the composition of the Navy. This will be the largest growth in the US Navy since the Cold War. For what he's up to, it is generally understood, but the scale of the problems, which will be accompanied by such a large building, Trump has yet to be realized.
President Donald Trump intends to seriously strengthen the American fleet, increasing its population to a few dozen ships. Plans supreme commander cost Washington a serious amount - in the Congress to actively calculate the possible costs of the budget. And all this to the detriment of the financing of NGOs, foreign aid and other similar projects.
These trends suggest that the new head of the White House intends to depart from the concept of "soft power", so beloved by his predecessor, Barack Obama and other Democrats. As a true Republican Trump will build in promoting American interests around the world on the strength of the real, ie the military, he had already demonstrated in Syria and Afghanistan. And the chief bulwark of US military power was traditionally the fleet could not be better designed to ensure US presence anywhere in the world.
Trump why so many ships?
What besides the commitment to republican ideas Trump pushes such steps? It is unlikely that just a simple impulsiveness and the desire to possess significant military power, as some of his opponents within the United States.
"On the one hand, shifting the focus of their interests in the region of Asia, where there is a large and fast-growing Chinese navy. On the other hand, the interests of the military-industrial complex. Well, and the third, the Americans are historically a sea power, navy helps them to pursue an active global policy in several places at once, "- said the newspaper VIEW chief editor of the magazine" Arms Export "Andrey Frolov.
In modern conditions the Navy are used for a wide range of applications. In particular, they are utilized in a variety of locations around the world to combat piracy (eg, Somalia), drug trafficking, smuggling, in counter-terrorism operations, humanitarian missions (even in the fight against Ebola in Africa). The Pentagon release 18 maritime zones, where for the sake of ensuring US national interests must be a permanent presence of American ships. Growth in demand for fleet services and provokes an increase in its needs for additional resources.
"The US is going to solve the problems of a global nature. To do this, they need the power and means of the Navy, which would be able to do it. At the moment, the forces and means, they estimated, is not enough ", - said chairman of the Union of geopolitics of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Sciences (RAMAS) Doctor of Military Sciences Konstantin Sivkov.
Keep in mind that not all ships can simultaneously enter the alert. Currently available at the disposal of Washington 272-275 (according to various estimates) ships on duty are only about 35%. This is justified by the need for regular maintenance and repairs (which sometimes dragged on terms), rotation and rest of the crew. Thus, to ensure the presence of only one ship in a remote region of the world must be in reality at least three ships (two crews), one on duty, one on maintenance (repair), one on the transition to space-based or duty.
Another reason - a long overdue need to modernize the American Navy. This problem concerns not only the ships themselves. To date, approximately 62% of all aircraft based on US aircraft carriers (F / A-18 Hornet and F / A-18E / F Super Hornet), are not able to fly (for example, need repair or are already in the maintenance). Under normal conditions, this number should be no more than 30%. Thus, if the US will not take the fleet renewal, it boecposobnost may be significantly reduced in the near future.
But the main reasons for plans to increase still external fleet. First and foremost, this confrontation with China, said Andrei Frolov. Anti-Chinese sentiment Trump - is not a simple paranoia. China's defense spending has been steadily increasing (more than 100 billion dollars 2010-2016 till year). With a particular focus on China makes the Navy. On the Chinese armed forces armed worth one aircraft carrier, one will soon be completed, and all in the coming years, Beijing plans to increase this number to five. Active construction and submarines as a shock (now more than 60), and strategic (currently five).
Particular concern of Americans is the world's first anti-ship ballistic missile DF-21D, has earned the nickname "the killer of aircraft carriers' and located on the last stages of testing. In addition, China has successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile DF-41 with multiple warheads that can hit targets at a distance of up to 15 thousand. km and it is able to overcome the US missile defense. All this in perspective will enable China not only successfully counteract the US aircraft carrier groups and lock the approaches to its territory, including the disputed (Taiwan, the islands of the South China Sea and so on. d.), but also to create a projection of power for the entire Asia-Pacific region, as well as elsewhere in the world that does not suit Washington.
Trump sounded plans call for an increase in the number of warships of the US Navy to 350 (plan of the previous administration - 308) in the coming years 30 (individuals in the Pentagon previously offered an even more impressive numbers - and even more 355 400). This is the largest increase since 1980-ies. This can be called a return to the rhetoric of the Cold War, when the Americans brought the number of fleet units right up to 600. Such a number of ships can not be explained only by participation of the Navy in a wide range of tasks and defense needs. This is clearly a move aimed at preparing for the real military conflict thereby allowing the pre-emptive strike. Here are just a potential enemy - now is not the Soviet Union, and China. However, how effective such a strategy in the current environment? Especially considering the fact that the PRC's emphasis on arms capable of neutralizing the US Navy, and especially its main fist - aircraft carrier groups.
Consider what is going to build the United States itself. Officially No specific program for the construction of the fleet by class of ships was not accepted. However, the US Navy has already put forward its ideas on this matter, saying that they need 355 ships. In particular, this implies an increase in the number of aircraft carriers with 11 12 to pieces. Large surface ships should be in place 104 88. This group of Americans carry destroyers and cruisers equipped combat information control "Aegis" system, and three destroyers type "Zumvolt". Will remain unchanged number of small surface ships (frigates and littoral combat ships) - 52 unit. Navy also expects to increase the number of attack submarines with up to 48 66, while Park SSBN (submarine ballistic missiles) will be maintained at 12 units.
As can be seen, the primary emphasis on increasing the number of destroyers, cruisers and attack submarines. In other words, it is built up striking power, directed against enemy ships, as well as the implementation of anti-missile defense and the Navy. Just what you need to counteract the growing fleet, and Chinese aircraft. Meanwhile, the US is actively developing a missile capable of destroying the Chinese "killer of aircraft carriers» DF-21D. In particular, it is actively put into service (although it has not yet completed testing) anti-aircraft missile SM-6 Dual I, capable of shooting down ballistic targets (just such as the DF-21D). The Pentagon is also conceived to equip their new frigates local air defense systems, which will allow them to carry out air defense, not only themselves, but also the forces of combat support ships. In addition, Americans are developing a new large surface ship, which, presumably, will be released in 2030-ies.
But that's not all. According to the Navy's plan is also expected to increase the number of ships and command support (up to 21 23), combat support (up to 29 32). It is also planned to increase the number of amphibious landing ships (at the request of the United States Marine Corps) with 34 to 38.
But the most interesting here another time. At the level 10 units will be supported by the number of high-speed transport ships. This huge transporters (up 300 m in length, displacement with a cargo to 60 thousand. tons) of speeds up 33 units and capable of flight to deliver, for example, one hundred tanks "Abrams" together of parts, fuel, ammunition, and other accessory load. In addition, twice (three to six) will expand the number of "mobile expeditionary bases" and "forwarding reloading docks ships", which are comparable in size to the transporters and are designed for expeditionary operations in remote areas without relying on coastal infrastructure. They carry a variety of supplies, and for the delivery to them based amphibious ships and heavy transport helicopters.
These plans demonstrate a clear attitude of Washington to enhance its ability to create a "projection of force" in the remote corners of the planet. The ability to quickly deliver a large number of equipment and personnel, as well as increasing the autonomy of the expedition offshore operations provide a significant advantage in the conduct of military operations away from their territory, for example in the South China Sea.
"American geopolitics suggests that without the establishment of a decisive influence over the world's resources, they can not survive simply. The question now taking control of resources is critical, "- said Konstantin Sivkov.
whether Trump will be able to achieve its ambitious goals?
"With the American features is real, the other thing is that they have to a great extent to increase the defense budget and reallocate funds between the various branches of the armed forces. It's not immediately be able to do ", - said Andrei Frolov.
Such large-scale construction will inevitably face serious problems. And the first of them - financial. According to preliminary calculations, the realization of Trump initiatives need about 700 billion dollars. This is 400 billion dollars more than anticipated last administration's plan. Only the construction of ships required 26,6 billion dollars annually. In sum, the creation, maintenance, and fleet maintenance crew in 355 ships will cost about 102 billion dollars a year. In these circumstances, the US president proposed increase in the total military budget to 54 billion dollars is not enough (and the Navy will get only about one third of this amount). But his initiative Trump still have to push through Congress. What he wants to sacrifice spending on foreign aid, environmental protection and NGOs content, it causes considerable dissatisfaction with parliamentarians.
Plans to expand the fleet may also face a tough labor shortages. To implement the idea to bring the fleet up to 350 ships need more 50 thousand. new employees (the total number of people involved in the field of shipbuilding in 2016 year was approximately 100 thousand.). Advance them not to hire (or they will sit idle), and quickly find a number of workers after receiving contracts is very difficult. This offers highly qualified specialists in the labor market is not there. In this connection, it will need to step up training and retraining of the workforce, including through the conclusion of agreements with educational institutions. However, while this training is about five to seven years. In addition, the new ships crews are required, which means that, given the rotation will need to bring the number of Navy personnel about 400 thousand. people (currently about 323 thousand.).
In addition, for the production of such a large number of ships needed huge production capacity, and which is lacking (for example, because of this, not just postponed for the modernization program and the construction of submarines). To reorient the shipbuilding enterprise under the new volumes of output, it will need a lot of time and considerable investment. Moreover, in addition to increasing the capacity and number of shipyards is necessary to increase the output of related companies supplying different parts for ships (screws, anchors, the core of nuclear reactors, etc.), Which is even more challenging.
In addition, it is necessary to realize that in reality, bring the number of ships of up to 350 - it's not just add to the current 275 75. After all, we must remember that in 30 years, who designed the Trump plan, many of the old ships will be scrapped. So, to achieve the intended objectives actually need to build about 329 ships. In other words, the US will need to build about 12 ships per year (the previous plan was to purchase eight ships each year).
In addition, at this time a specific detailed plan for the construction there, and how Trump sees his future "invincible armada", known only to himself. In many ways, crucial in this regard will be the figure of the new Minister of the Navy, which has also unclear. At the same time, it should be understood that the US president is unlikely to give up its ambitious plans and will seek ways to push them. And support the Republicans become him. Trump has had a chance to try out the use of military action in Syria and Afghanistan, and he obviously does not intend to stop there. A powerful fleet would be an excellent tool for "muscle-flexing" and the demonstration of American military power in various parts of the world, as well as of other countries, the policy of containment, be it North Korea, Iran, China or Russia.