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    Soldiers from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy watch as the USS Blue Ridge arrives at a port in Shanghai, Friday, May 6, 2016

    Who Should Be Seen as the Real Threat to US Naval Dominance

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    Despite the US Navy's "built-in advantages," it may face capability-related risks and has yet to resolve an array of challenges posed by Russia, China and Iran, the American magazine National Interest reported.

    The American flag flies at half-mast aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) during a scheduled port visit to Constanta, Romania June 13, 2016.
    © REUTERS / US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Handout
    The next few years may see the US Navy face a host of challenges from Russia, China and Iran, according to Dave Majumdar, defense editor of the American magazine National Interest.

    He specifically pointed to the fact that these challenges, along with capability risks, come as the US Navy "has some built-in advantages that it has invested in over the past decade."

    The USS Normady sails in the Bay of Bengal during Exercise Malabar 2015, some 152 miles off eastern coast of Chennai, India
    © AP Photo / Arun Sankar K.
    The USS Normady sails in the Bay of Bengal during Exercise Malabar 2015, some 152 miles off eastern coast of Chennai, India

    "Increasingly, rival powers, [such as Russia, China and Iran] are challenging American sea control — something that the US Navy has not encountered since the implosion of the once-mighty Soviet Navy in 1991," Majumdar said, in a nod to the collapse of the Soviet Union 25 years ago.

    He was echoed by Admiral Philip S. Davidson, commander of US Navy Fleet Forces Command, who earlier said that Moscow, Beijing and Tehran are trying their best to "deny us sea control."

    A Chinese naval vessel launches anti-submarine missiles in an offshore blockade exercise
    © AP Photo / LI GANG
    A Chinese naval vessel launches anti-submarine missiles in an offshore blockade exercise

    "It's to let us know the last decade – that aberration — that we would not go unchallenged in the maritime domain. That is one of the areas in which we took risk in the last decade," Davidson said.

    According to him, other risks are related to electronic warfare, anti-submarine warfare, over-the-horizon targeting and strikes.

    Four Chinese Navy submarines (L) and warships attend an international fleet review to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy on April 23, 2009 off Qingdao in Shandong Province
    © AFP 2019 / POOL / Guang Niu
    Four Chinese Navy submarines (L) and warships attend an international fleet review to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy on April 23, 2009 off Qingdao in Shandong Province

    As far as the "built-in advantages" of the US Navy are concerned, they include the Naval Integrated Fire Control battle network, which Majumdar said helps the service aircraft, ships and other assets share information and targeting data.

    The US Navy's dominance of the underwater domain remains another major advantage, Majumdar said, referring to the sophisticated submarines.

    "While the Navy's attack submarine fleet is woefully short on boats, the service's Virginia and Seawolf-class vessels are the most advanced in the world — though the Russians, albeit lacking in numbers, are not very far behind," he pointed out.

    As for China, the National Interest quoted San Francisco-based defense writer Kyle Mizokami as saying by 2030, the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) may have the largest number of warships in the world.

    These will include 99 submarines, four aircraft carriers, 102 destroyers and frigates, 26 corvettes, 73 amphibious ships and 111 missile craft, "a whopping 415 ships in total, compared to approximately 309 in the US Navy of 2030," according to Mizokami.

    Referring to Russia, he said that the country's ballistic missile submarine fleet will have a strong impact on the country's position in the top-five list of the most powerful navies by 2030

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    warfare, navy, submarines, control, risks, challenges, capability, Iran, China, United States, Russia
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