The most powerful navies in 2030 will be a reflection of the broader state of the world. Some countries are invested in preserving the current international order, and see naval power as a means to maintain it. Other emerging countries are building navies commensurate with their newfound sense of status, often with an eye towards challenging that order.
The eastward shift in naval power will continue in 2030, a product of both declining defense budgets in Europe and growing economies in Asia. While the most powerful navies of the Cold War were concentrated largely in Europe, by 2030 both China and India will be on the list, with Japan as runners-up also fielding large, modern naval forces.
Ship-wise, there are two classes that will define the most powerful navies: aircraft carriers and ballistic missile submarines. Aircraft carriers reflect the need to maintain a global, or even regional, power-projection capability. Ballistic-missile submarines reflect a maturation and diversification of a country’s nuclear arsenal, with an eye toward maintaining a second-strike capability in case of surprise attack. More than any other type, those two will define naval power in the early-to-mid twenty-first century.
5) Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force
Japan will field a large naval fleet as it has already embarked on a military modernisation to counter growing Chinese threat to its shores. It has lifted its self imposed restrictions on military modernisation or military muscle flexing, which was enforced post world war II period of time and continued till 2014. But now it has started to strengthen its naval force to counter the Chinese PLA-Navy. It is expected to have around 140-160 ships in its naval flotilla including 60 odd powerful Destroyers along with some half a dozen Helicopter carriers or pocket aircraft carriers. It will also have a flotilla of approximately 22 submarines by 2030. It will be able to project its power throughout the Pacific Ocean and South and East China Sea region where it is competing the Chinese.
4) Russian Navy
Russian Navy from a position of 2nd place, will down to 4th place due to China and India’s Navy’s great rise to the top places. But still it will hold a major Navy consisting of 3 Aircraft Carriers, 90 odd Corvettes and almost 50 submarines by 2030. Overall it will have a fleet of 250 ships by 2030. The numbers of ships in Russian Navy will fall at a great measure because of its decommissioning of older Soviet era vessels and the induction of less vessels due to economic crunch. But still, it will hold some great ships and submarines in its arsenal which may rattle any great power on the planet. Its main combat ships will be its Yasin class Nuclear submarines, Delta class Ballistic Missile Submarines and upcoming Super Carriers of 1,00,000 tonnes category.
3) Indian Navy
Continuous rise of India’s military will pave the way for its Navy to be seen among the top 3 Navies in the world. India is investing huge money on its military modernisation riding over a great economic rise. Its defence expenditure will continue to grow at a tremendous pace of 10-11% year on year, this will not only help India modernise its military but to some extent even make it one of the largest and best in the world. Growing Chinese threat at IOR has forced India to develop an Ocean going Blue-Water Navy to challenge the Chinese. It is expected to have a total of more than 300 ships in its naval flotilla including 3 Aircraft Carriers, 24 Destroyers, 24 Frigates, 40 Corvettes as surface combatants and a flotilla of 40 odd under water submarine fleet including 15 nuclear vessels and more than 25 conventional diesel electric vessels. It will also have a fleet of more than 30 amphibious vessels of different category. It will have more than 500 Naval aircrafts including almost 200 combat aircrafts for its aircraft carriers. It will be 3rd largest Navy in the world by 2030 in terms of manpower and tonnage of ships too. It is expected to have near to 2,00,000 Naval personnels and the total tonnage of the Navy may be well over 15,00,000 tonnes.
2) People’s Liberation Army-Navy
Huge military modernisation has embarked the naval branch of the People’s Liberation Army to emerge as the 2nd most powerful Navy in the world behind only the United States. Though, as per total ships strength, PLA-Navy will be the largest but not by tonnage, manpower and overall capability. It will have more than 400 ships in its naval flotilla including 3 Aircraft Carriers, 30 Destroyers, 50 Frigates, 20 Corvettes as surface fleet and almost 90 submarines (largest submarine fleet by 2030) including 20 nuclear vessels and 70 odd conventional diesel electric vessels. With a whopping economy, Chinese will continue to increase their defence expenditure to modernise their military capabilities vis-à-vis the United States but it is hardly that they will outsmart the Americans by even 2030. The gap between these two Super Powers may reduce significantly but the United States will be far more capable and smart than their Chinese counter part by 2030. Although as a force, the Chinese will be able to dominate the Asian waters but they have to face India at IOR which too will be a major Naval power in the world.
1) The United States Navy
Purely the No.1 of all time, even by 2o3o, the US Navy will be unmatched, though its dominant role may decrease at the world level but they can defeat any great Navy in the world by then too. US Department of Defence has set up plan to modernise their Naval fleet to counter growing threat all over the world including the growing Chinese naval power. It will have around 350 odd ships in its arsenal by 2030 but by capability, technology and tonnage, these ships will be far more advanced than any other Navies in the world. The superior techs, new designs and upgradation in weapon platforms will give the United States the required power to hold its position as a supreme naval force on the planet. With a fleet of 12 Aircraft Carriers, 80 Destroyers, 30 Cruisers as surface fleet and 80 nuclear submarines as under water fleet will present a whopping Naval fleet that will be possessed by the US Navy by 2030. Though by number of ships, it will lose the rank of the largest Navy to China, but their overall strength and capability will remain unmatched in 2030 too even beyond that time period.
Source: Defence Update