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Trump is preparing for the American fleet confrontation with China

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.

It should be borne in mind that not all ships can simultaneously go on combat duty. Currently, of the available 272-275 (by various estimates) ships in the military post are only about 35%. This is justified by the need for regular maintenance and repairs (which are sometimes delayed in time), rotation and rest of the crew. Thus, to ensure the presence of only one ship in a remote region of the world, it is necessary in reality not less than three ships (and two crews): one on combat duty, one on maintenance (repair), one on the transition to the place of basing or watch.

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).

Special fears of Americans are caused by the world's first anti-ship ballistic missile DF-21D, already nicknamed the "killer of aircraft carriers" and is in the final stages of testing. In addition, the PRC successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile DF-41 with a separating warhead that can hit targets at a distance of up to 15 thousand kilometers and is quite capable of overcoming the American ABM. All this in the long term will allow China not only successfully to counter the US aircraft carrier groups and to block the approaches to its territory, including the disputed ones (Taiwan, the islands of the South China Sea, etc.), but also to create a projection of power on the entire APR, and to other parts of the world, which is absolutely not happy with Washington.

Tramp's plans include increasing the number of US Navy warships to 350 (the plan for the previous administration - 308) in the next 30 years (individuals in the Pentagon previously offered even more impressive numbers - 355 and even more than 400). This is the biggest increase since 1980-ies. This can be called a return to the rhetoric of the Cold War, when the Americans brought the fleet up to 600 units. Such a number of ships can not be explained only by the participation of the Navy in solving a wide range of tasks and the needs of defense. This is clearly a step aimed at preparing for a real military conflict and allowing for a preemptive strike. Here only the probable adversary is now not the USSR, but China. However, how effective is this strategy in modern conditions? Especially given that the PRC is focusing on weapons that can neutralize the American fleet, and above all its main fist - carrier groups.

Let's see what the US is going to build. Officially, no concrete program for the construction of a fleet by classes of ships has been adopted so far. 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 from 11 to 12 units. Large surface ships should be 104 instead of 88. To this group, the Americans include destroyers and cruisers equipped with the combat information management system Aegis, as well as three destroyers of the Zu'volt type. The number of small surface ships (frigates and littoral warships) will remain unchanged - 52 units. The Navy also expects to bring the number of strike submarines from 48 to 66, while the SSBN fleet (submarines with ballistic missiles) will be maintained at the level of 12 units.

Apparently, the main emphasis is on increasing the number of destroyers, cruisers and strike submarines. In other words, it is precisely the strike force directed against the enemy ships that is being built up, as well as the implementation of the anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense of the Navy. Just what is needed to counter the growing fleet and aviation of China. At the same time, the US is actively developing missile defense, which allows to destroy the Chinese "aircraft carrier killer" DF-21D. In particular, the anti-aircraft missile SM-6 Dual I, which can shoot down ballistic targets (just such as DF-21D), is actively put into service (although its tests are not yet completed). The Pentagon also planned to equip its new frigates with local air defense systems, which would allow them to carry out air defense not only themselves, but also the ships of the combat support forces. In addition, the Americans are developing a new large surface ship, which, presumably, will be released in the 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 is another point. At the level of 10 units, the number of high-speed transport vehicles will be maintained. These are huge transport vehicles (up to 300 m in length, displacement with cargo up to 60 thousand tons), developing speed up to 33 knots and capable of delivering, for example, a hundred Abrams tanks together for spare parts, petroleum products, ammunition, auxiliary equipment and other cargo. In addition, the number of "expedition mobile bases" and "expeditionary docking ships" will be doubled (from three to six), which are comparable in size to transporters and are designed for expedition operations in remote areas without reliance on coastal infrastructure. They carry various supplies, and landing ships and heavy transport helicopters are based on them.

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 a large-scale construction will inevitably face serious problems. And the first of them is financial. According to preliminary calculations, the implementation of the Trump initiative will require about 700 billion dollars. This is 400 billion dollars more than the plan of the previous administration assumed. Only for the construction of ships will require 26,6 billion dollars annually. In total, the creation, provision of crew and fleet operation in 355 ships will cost about 102 billion dollars per year. In these conditions, the increase in the entire military budget of the country by 54 billion dollars proposed by the US president is clearly insufficient (and the Navy will get only about a third of this amount). But Trumpu's initiative still needs to be held through Congress. The fact that he wants to sacrifice the costs of helping foreign countries, protecting the environment and maintaining NGOs, causes considerable dissatisfaction of parliamentarians.

Plans to expand the fleet may also face a severe shortage of labor. To implement the idea to bring the fleet to 350 ships, it will take more than 50 thousand new employees (the total number of people involved in shipbuilding in 2016 was about 100 thousand). They can not be hired in advance (otherwise they will sit idle), and it is very difficult to quickly find such a number of workers after obtaining contracts. There is simply no such offer of highly qualified specialists in the labor market. In this regard, it will be necessary to intensify the training and retraining of the workforce, including by concluding agreements with educational institutions. However, the time for such training is approximately five to seven years. In addition, new ships require crews, which means that, given the rotation, it will be necessary to bring the number of Navy servicemen to about 400 thousand people (now they are about 323 thousand).

In addition, the production of such a large number of ships requires huge production capacity, which is already lacking (for example, because of this, programs for the modernization and construction of submarines have been postponed). To reorient the shipbuilding enterprises to new volumes of output, it will take a long time and considerable capital investment. Moreover, in addition to increasing the capacities and the number of shipyards, it is necessary to increase output of related enterprises that supply various parts for ships (propellers, anchors, nuclear reactors, etc.), which is even more difficult.

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 the moment there is no specific detailed construction plan, and as Trump sees his future "invincible armada", it is known only to himself. In many respects, the figure of the new Minister of the Navy, which is also unclear, will largely determine the plan. At the same time, it should be understood that the US president is unlikely to abandon his grandiose plans and will seek ways to squeeze them. And the Republicans will be the mainstay in this. Trump already had the opportunity to test the use of military measures in Syria and Afghanistan, and he clearly does not intend to stop there. A powerful fleet will be an excellent tool for "muscle flexing" and demonstrating US military power in various parts of the world, as well as pursuing a policy of restraining other countries, be it the DPRK, Iran, China or Russia.

A source: LOOK

Author: Nikita Kovalenko

Tags: USA, Trump, Politics, Ships, Navy, Navy, China, Asia, Analytics, armament, missile defense, Submarines