China’s Navy Advances as U.S. Budgets Flatten

China1National Harbor, Md. — The Navy’s top weapons buyer on Wednesday said sequestration is putting the U.S. at a disadvantage in maintaining its technical edge over a rising China in the Pacific.

Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, told a crowd at the Sea Air Space Exposition that U.S. dominance across the world is owed to “constant investment” in the Navy and Marine Corps.

He chose to single out a recent demonstration of U.S. Naval power last August to highlight his point. It was a test of an airborne-relay sensor aboard the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye that directed a surface-to-air missile fired from the USS Chancellorsville, a guided missile cruiser.

That’s the next great leap,” Stackley said referring to the airborne-relay sensor called the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air System. “This first test of [NIFC-CA] demonstrated our ability to match the reach of our platforms, our sensors, our networks and our weapons in order to extend our battle space beyond the enemy’s reach.”

He chose to highlight the test because it displayed the Navy’s ability to attack over the horizon targets – an important capability should the U.S. enter a war with China and its highly capable radar systems. The Navy must continue to invest in the research and development needed to develop advanced systems like NIFC-CA, Stackley said.

However, the budget cuts have put these investments in danger, he said. Of course, most observers would say the Navy has weathered the recent sequestration cuts the best amongst the services, but the Navy has also seen their expected defense spending flatten.

The reduction in development and procurement of weapons systems reduces the distinct advantage the U.S. military presently enjoys, Stackley said.

“That is our asymmetric advantage, and it is imperiled,” he said mentioning the sequester cuts. “Whether you’re counting numbers of ships, of aircraft, steaming days or flight hours, or training of sailors and Marines … the fact is that by whatever method you choose to count … the measure will be less, and in some cases much less.”

He said that Chinese naval leaders don’t have to worry about sequestration as China’s defense budget has risen over recent years.

“The threat is rising … China knows no sequestration. And their budgets are rising rapidly,” he said.

Of course, China spends only a fraction of what the U.S. does on its military. The U.S. Navy has a larger budget than the entire Chinese military.

However, Stackley said the U.S. still must maintain its military funding and get rid of sequestration.

“It is given to Congress by the Constitution to provide and maintain a Navy,” he said toward the end of the speech. “However it is up to us to educate and inform the Congress on what it is and what it is not the naval strength adequate to provide for our nation’s security.”

For that reason it is imperative that both government and industry do what it can “to rid the budget of any burden that does not go directly to building sea power.”

About the Author

Bryant Jordan
Bryant Jordan is an associate editor and White House correspondent for Military.com. Bryant covers all corners of the military arena, is an expert on "Don't Ask Don't Tell" issues, religious proselytizing and other ongoing military policy issues. He has covered Air Force support missions during the Kosovo War and in 2006 the aero-medical evacuation mission out of Balad Air Base, Iraq.A journalist since 1979, Jordan also covered stories in Lebanon, Gaza and Morocco. During the Vietnam War he was assigned to 15th Admin. Co., 1st Cavalry Division, Bien Hoa Army Base. Before joining Military.com Jordan was a staff writer and deputy news editor for Military Timesnewspapers in Springfield, Va.

29 Comments on "China’s Navy Advances as U.S. Budgets Flatten"

  1. There is a BIG REASON why that is the way it is. Thanks to Obama and Bush's war in Iraq we are broke and cannot afford to build a 1945 size Navy. We gave China all our jobs and now they can spend spend spend and we cant. I don't give a crap to began with about China most of there weapons are junk. But this defense budget deficit is nto the result of WW3 coming in a year or two like many of these China fear mongers here on this blog want you to think, its about we wasted trillions on crap we don't need and programs we don't need this both for the military and civil affairs in the federal government. Sequestration is needed to undo some of the debt we made for ourselves, we can only blame ourselves. time to junk the billions in civil crap like teacher unions we don't need junk crap like JSF JLTV and LCS we don't need focus on stuff we do need F-15 upgrades F-22 maintenance DDG-1000 and Ford class carriers.

  2. then stop support they economy…like forcing the CEO's stop outsourcing JOBS and MANUFACTURES there PROBLEM SOLVE otherwise I truely believe we are like Pakistanies on 1 hand they support TERRORIST and on the other hand they claim that they fighting TERRORIST to get MORE US MONEY…Look what happen to the DOCTOR helping the CIA to kill BIN LADEN……

  3. China’s Navy Advances to Flatten US.

  4. "Of course, China spends only a fraction of what the U.S. does on its military. The U.S. Navy has a larger budget than the entire Chinese military."

    Yet, we are still losing our edge according to most. Sounds more like a problem with how our money is spent rather than needing enough money in the budget.

  5. Of course China still pays workers very little compared to what we pay ours. The pay of their soldiers can't be all that great either.

    But honestly, what do you expect when our current politicians are more concerned about implementing "political correctness" across the military instead of providing them with the equipment to do the job asked of them.

  6. ''The U.S. Navy has a larger budget than the entire Chinese military.''

    Yet the PLAN pumps out an astonishing amount of ships annually while the USN procure ships in single digital numbers for every FY.

  7. Virgil Cuttaway | April 10, 2014 at 12:15 am | Reply

    You guys never tell your readers why the Chinese are gaining so fast on the US militarily and economically: our people keep buying Chinese goods and the money is used first to build up Chinese military.

    Moral of the story: its our own fault!

  8. pretty sure china could chug along for quite a few years before they would even come close to the US navy

  9. How clarifying! I guess we're done here, then?

  10. Just think if we didn’t have all the lazy poor people on welfare and food stamps, or the troops returning home to no jobs and having to use food stamps and welfare for housing. Or, all those hungry kids on school lunch programs draining the United States financially. Just think – how much more money could go to the corporations for tax breaks and the military for protecting Americans for those foreign threats! That is America’s problem – poor people with no jobs because corporations sent them overseas for greater profits – not the tax breaks for the rich! Geez, if only Americans knew the freedoms of being Rich and Republican! After all – it is Obama’s fault that GWB started those wars – it’s all Obama’s fault!

  11. Don't fall for any of this crap. Let the Navy have a cake/cookie sale if they want more
    toys. The American public are getting conned by the likes of Lockheed/Boeing (retireed
    Admirals/Generals), etc. While the european union spend their money to improve the
    quality of life for their citizens, we waste ours on new military toys. Enough is enough.s

  12. We're dumping hundreds of billions into the failed F35, we wasted billions on the useless V22, and we overpay for everything so of course we're following behind. Clean up the defense contract business. Stop letting them get away with under bidding and then going over budget. Every contractor who has gone over budget by more than 20% should be barred from further contracts for the next 10 years unless waved by a congressional consensus.

  13. The comments on this site are like being back in the hip coffee house with those gaudy paintings on the wall. And the attitudinizer booming on about Texas, consmerism, and this months fascists.

  14. We could have a more powerful Navy in a flat budget environment: cancel LCS, cancel the F-35C, decrease our supercarriers to 10, build 4 new Virginia subs per year including the 70 ft long VLS addition which is already planned. Reequip the USN with 2000 tactical nuclear cruise missiles (Russian and China have tactical nukes on their ships, we don't, thanks to Obama, all removed in 2010). Go for an atack sub fleet of 100 subs. Bring back the anti-ship tomahawk missile which also was eliminated. The reason that we have such a weakened military is political correctness, it is not money. We could buy 1000 Brahmos missiles from India for 2 billion, instead we spend 134 billion dollars on the F-35 and get nothing. The USN wants to cancel the F-35C, but is prohibited by the Pentagon to do so. And the GOP is unwilling to cancel sequestration which is fulfilling the Ulratleft's dream of the utter failure and destruction of the US military. So much for GOP patriotism. One day we will be wiped out.

  15. China realizes it can match our arsenal and out do us in the Pacific. Our forces are spread globally. Theirs are not. Then add in the fact that Russia would back China in any conflict, Japan & NATO needs to step up. Otherwise, if we continue to cut back we are best to just handover Pacific influence to China now in trade for our debt.

  16. China can spend more because of their political structure. They can build this fleet at a less cost. For one their working class does not have the same rights that American working class citizens have. They can screw their workers over into longer work shifts at less pay. This is just one facet of their structure. The U.S. has to rethink their strategy. Size means nothing if the strategy of the leaner fleet size is superior.

  17. “The wariness about foreigners was to be a characteristic of the time. British intelligence had reports since 1909 about how German intelligence was being gathered in Britain and Ireland,” he says.

    When state of war broke away in Lordly 1914, sleuth paranoia soared throughout the UK with a rash of newsprint
    stories, books and films. High-visibility picture palace releases,
    including the German Snoop Peril, Guarding Britain’s Secrets and The Kaiser’s Spies, added
    fuel to the elicit.

  18. I just love the way that all of you people get angry about military contracts going over budget, when you know absolutely nothing about military contracts. Firstly, something is hashed out on paper, and then designs are drawn up. If it is small enough, a prototype is manufactured and the problems are hashed out of it, and design specs are changed. Changes add to the cost. Then when you think that you have what you want, you realize that it is not operating quite up to what you had hoped for, and so you have to go over your designs and figure it out again only to see that you weren't using it correctly, because it is so new. And at that stage, it is out of date because of something newer.

  19. "National Harbor, Md. — The Navy’s top weapons buyer on Wednesday said sequestration is putting the U.S. at a disadvantage in maintaining its technical edge over a rising China in the Pacific"____________________________________Well thats true to an extent. China got a whole fleet of one Carrier that can't launch a single plane. If you are gonna make a case for the US to stay on it's toes in this matter, at least try to be a bit more realistic.

  20. d. h. gilmour | April 11, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Reply

    Are we sure Michelle wasn't there to make a sale/gift agreement of our "obsolete" carriers and destroyers being decommisioned like we did with so many ships given to the Russians at the end of WWII. She looked like she was having a great time waving their flag around and cheering.

  21. Remember we are a slave to foreign oil we have to down size our economy and military to reduce our oil consumption dependability because we lead the world in oil consumption. This process will be very painful, that's why the world seems to have gotten so greedy and grabbing, everyone is trying to get theirs first.
    We are in the position to cut off china from our U.S market any time we want.
    The problem here is the higher ups wont share that info.

  22. The ignorance of economics here is strong. So much cheap mercantlism and keynesianism here.

  23. It seems to me, at the very least, counter-intuitive to expect that asymmetry can be maintained indefinitely. The strain of resisting equilibrium will show eventually.

  24. Our useless politicians in BOTH the DEMONcrat party and the RINO/GOP leadership/followers in the soon to be defunct Republican party shifted their attention and spending from on constitutional issues to unconstitutional programs. They need to move back to the limits our Founding Fathers placed on national spending and involve themselves into what is limited by the Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clauses 1-18.
    Our Constitution says three things about the responsibility of the federal government for our national defense. First, “provide for the common defense” is our national government’s top priority; second, our national defense is the only mandatory function of the national government; finally, national defense is exclusively the function of the national government. However, what happens when our national government, including our politicians ignores their Oath of Office and our Constitution when it comes to our national defense, our homeland security and the preservation of our Constitution?
    To force national politicians to follow the Constitution will require citizen/voter involvement to ask all politicians, beginning at the local level (mayor, city/town council, township trustee, county/parish supervisor/commissioner, state House and Senate members) to push our national politicians to do their jobs by placing our national defense, homeland security and the preservation of our Constitution back above Cultural Marxism i.e. political correctness and the constant pandering politicians make for votes and funding to get reelected.
    The Constitution requires the national government to “provide for the common defense” of this nation, however, the Constitution also requires the federal government to protect the nation. Article Four, Section Four states that the “United States shall guarantee to every State a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion.” In other words, even if the federal government chose to exercise no other power, it must, under the Constitution, provide for the common defense. Read “A Constitutional Basis for Defense” by Jim Talent, June 1, 2010 http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/06/

  25. Oh come on, stop exaggerating Chinese threat to waste more taxpayer money on the blundering military.

    The Chinese haven't even started building aircraft carriers and 10000 ton class destroyers yet.

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