Fight-Ready Navy Tonight Top of Mind, Says Chief of Naval Operations > US Department of Defense > Defense Department News
While investing in a future fleet is vital, so is maintaining the readiness of the current fleet so that it is ready to sail in case of danger, should the need arise, said the chief of naval operations.
The other focus is the sailor and the welfare of his family, said Admiral Michael Gilday, who spoke virtually today at the State of Defense Conference, sponsored by Defense One.
Upgrading the current fleet is important, he said, since 60 to 70 percent of that fleet will still be in service a decade from now.
“We’re not going to have a navy bigger than we can support,” he added.
Another vital aspect is the US shipbuilding industry, made up of five companies, Gilday said.
“We are trying to turn the page here by giving the shipbuilding industry stable and predictable demand, certainly in terms of the number of ships,” he said. “We need to keep this demand signal steady.”
The current proposed budget for shipbuilding is $27 billion, which is the highest on record, he said. The goal is to increase the number of ships to 350.
The key to achieving that goal is predictable and regular funding, and Congress appears to be very much in favor of that, he said.
The Navy is also trying to grow the fleet unmanned, using the latest technologies available, such as artificial intelligence, he said, adding that command and control software and the safety of these vessels are also challenges. priorities.
Gilday also mentioned the importance of allies and partners, citing AUKUS, which is the trilateral security pact between the US, Australia and the UK.
Under the pact, the United States and the United Kingdom will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, among other important combat assets.
Eventually Australia will be able to produce its own nuclear-powered submarines, he said, but it’s a long-term effort.