Undersea crisis: China will have nearly twice as many subs as the US

(From The National Interest)

The United States Navy needs more attack submarines to meet its global commitments. Worldwide, the service is only able to provide the Pentagon’s regional combatant commanders with less than two-thirds the number of submarines that they need.


“The threats in the undersea environment continue to go up,” Vice Adm. Joseph Mulloy, the service’s deputy chief of naval operations for integration of capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s sea power and projection forces subcommittee on February 25.

The U.S. Navy—which has roughly 52 attack submarines—is on track to have 41 attack boats by 2029. The Chinese, meanwhile, would have “at least 70, and they’re building,” Mulloy said. “You get back into the whole quality versus quantity issue, but at the same time the Russians are also building. . . and they build much higher-end submarines.”

Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, told the subcommittee that the service needs more boats, but there is no easy way to increase the size of the undersea fleet. “We have a compelling need for additional attack submarines,” Stackley said. “Today, we have 52 boats, a requirement for 48, we have a valley of 41 boats in the 2030s, we start falling below the line in the late 2020s.” Read More

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