The U.S. Navy must rapidly grow its attack submarine force, field smaller manned and unmanned combatants and examine changing the role of aircraft carriers in the coming decades as part of a massive expansion of the fleet to maintain American dominance on the seas, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Oct. 6, 2020.
All told, the fleet laid out by Esper represents a radically different fleet from the current Navy, emphasizing more teaming between manned and unmanned platforms, as well as radically transforming the carrier air wing (CVW) to focus more on unmanned aircraft of all varieties. In a major shift in department rhetoric, Esper also committed to freeing up funding from across the Defense Department to put into shipbuilding.
A large formation of warships.
An operational naval aviation organization made up of squadrons of different types of aircraft.
The future CVW will need to be able to hunt submarines, provide surveillance and targeting, and destroy ships and land targets with standoff weapons.