NORFOLK, Va. — The Chief of Naval Operations said Saturday that from now on, the U.S. Navy will no longer deploy warships at sea because they’ve become “obsolete,” but instead will transform itself into an “all-tank force.”
“We’ve seen this coming now for many years and we’ve been prepared for it,” CNO Adm. Charles Whitfield said. “In today’s modern, high-tech world, the sea service just isn’t viable anymore. It’s tanks, man. Tanks.”
When asked how the Navy planned to fight at sea using tanks, Whitfield admitted that it will take a lot of planning and major changes in strategy.
“But with the right input from the various fleet commanders, we really believe we can pull it off,” he said.
Pentagon officials said one idea being ‘floated’ is to place tanks on massive rafts that are far more maneuverable than traditional warships, which are very large, very gray, and much easier to target.
“Imagine you’re the commander of an enemy fleet and you see a flotilla of these babies coming at you,” Whitfield said, pointing to a mock-up design of an M1A1 Abrams tank on a raised buoy platform. “No way you’re gonna take on that firepower.”
The floating tank concept isn’t new. It was first tried during World War II, but designers eventually figured out the armored vehicles would sink very quickly without some type of floating mechanism to keep them above the waterline.
Once it became clear that ships were no longer an option, though, Pentagon planners dusted off those old designs and began making changes.
“Now, we think we’re onto something,” Whitfield said. “We’re cutting edge with this older technology-made new. And just think of all the money we’re going to save taxpayers.”
Asked if the force will still be called the U.S. Navy, Whitfield said the president was considering a name change.
“‘Aqua Force’ is the name at the top of the list,” he said. “And members will be Aquamen and Aquawomen.”