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China has nearly 350 ships in its Navy. It is larger than the 280-ship U.S. Navy. China commissions nearly three submarines each year and will have 70 submarines by 2020. China should have 430 surface ships and 100 submarines by 2033.

Currently about 250 of China’s ships are modern. By 2025, China’s Navy should be over 90% modern.

US Navy budgets not increasing

If the Navy’s budget is the average of its budget over the prior 30 years in real dollars and it maintains its aircraft carrier and ballistic submarine construction schedules, in 12 years the active naval fleet will decline to 237 ships. In six years, the U.S. submarine fleet will decline to 48 ships, and in eleven years the number of U.S. attack submarines will decline to 41 ships.

In 2015, the US Navy planned to increase the fleet to 308 ships by 2022. The Trump administration plans a 355-ship navy. However, Trump had to order a 5% budget cut. To reach 308 ships, the Navy will have to spend 36 percent more than the average shipbuilding budget over the past 30 years, requiring a one-third increase in its current budget.

The US will have to pay $300 to $500 billion per year in additional interest in the next 2 to 4 years. This will prevent increases in the military budget.