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From The Hill: Pentagon wants Navy to have more than 500 ships by 2045, Esper says

BY ELLEN MITCHELL – 10/06/20 (The Hill)

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday revealed that the Pentagon wants more than 500 Navy ships in the fleet by 2045 to counter China.

“Battle Force 2045 calls for a more balanced Navy of over 500 manned and unmanned ships,” Esper said during an appearance in Washington, D.C., referring to the name for the Pentagon’s planned future fleet.

“Further, we will reach 355 traditional battle force ships prior to 2035.”

Esper said the increase was due to China’s intent to complete modernization efforts for its armed forces by 2035 and to fully field its military by 2049.

“At that time, Beijing wants to achieve parity with the United States Navy, if not exceed our capabilities in certain areas and to offset our overmatch in several others,” he said….

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