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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Global Guided Missile Expansion Forcing U.S. Navy to Rethink Surface Fleet Size

USS Chafee (DDG-90)Rapid growth in the capability and quality of guided missiles — mostly Chinese in origin — is causing the U.S. Navy to rethink the number of surface ships it needs to effectively fight a high-end war.

Early estimates based ongoing war games could mean the current number of 88 large surface combatants — the Navy’s fleet of guided missile destroyers and cruisers — needs to grow to more than a hundred into the 2020s just to keep to today’s current level of risk, USNI News has learned.

However, increasing a fleet of multi-billion dollar ships by almost 25 percent is highly unlikely given declining U.S. military budgets current funding restrictions and the wind-down from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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