The United States needs a bigger Navy as it risks losing its advantage at sea to China and Russia within the next decade, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said in congressional testimony on Thursday.
“The PRC’s [China’s] and Russia’s aggressive naval growth and modernization are eroding US military advantages. Unchecked, these trends will leave the Navy unprepared to ensure our advantage at sea and protect national interests within the next decade,” Gilday told the US House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
Gilday accused Russia and China of working to undermine the rules-based international maritime system, including through the militarization of the South China Sea and the Crimean Peninsula.
“Based upon multiple rigorous, threat informed assessments conducted over the past five years – both inside and outside the Navy – it is my best military advice that America needs a larger Navy to counter the People’s Liberation Army Navy that is growing in both capability and capacity,” Gilday said.
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China has grown its navy from 262 to 350 ships that include aircraft carriers, submarines and polar icebreakers in addition to building what he described as “the world’s largest missile force to target regional waters,” he added.
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