US Navy to Deploy AI Drones to Counter Chinese

Naval superiority is measured in tonnage. Even in the days of the Royal Navy versus the Spanish Armada, the total weight of all ships would be the first piece of important strategic intelligence to the enemy. Just two years ago, it was reported that the Chinese Navy boasted 2.4 million tonnes of water-cleaving muscle. To the number crunchers and accountants, that figure represented an above water fleet of one cruiser, two aircraft carriers, 32 destroyers, 49 frigates, 37 corvettes and 86 coastal patrol ships. Factor in the easily converted vessels of the Chinese Coast Guard, and you have a fleet of just over 450 weapon-bearing warships. That’s just the enemy you can see. Beneath the waves of the Yellow Sea (or perhaps in a ring around Taiwan) the navy has 56 submarines, six of which are JIN class nuclear subs.

That’s the size of the second biggest navy in the world, behind the U.S. (of course). However, it’s the speed at which the Central Military Commission is increasing their fleet right now That’s the problem the Pentagon is facing. Mainly because the Pentagon is notorious in military circles for dragging their feet. To be fair, endless governmental hearings, debates, congressional gerrymandering and senatorial navel-gazing (see what I did there?) don’t help.

Naval Superiority to Undergo Sea Change

But snail’s pace or not, U.S. foreign policy will not allow this approaching naval superiority to happen. So the higher-ups in the Pentagon are circumventing the need for approval to build behemoth aircraft carriers. They’re looking for some counter-thrust answers from technology, not muscle. And if they get it right, naval superiority will no longer be measured in tonnage. Rather, stealth and AI. In the form of legions of autonomous sea and air drones.

Cost of an aircraft carrier?


Cost of a sea drone?


So the plan to build a vast fleet of AI-powered drones is so obviously the path to naval superiority in the future.

My question is: if the Americans know it, surely the Chinese know it too.

And they’re the ones who’ve proved to be quicker to market, so to speak.

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