JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.
(AP) American Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday he is confident that the world’s top marine engines could replace aircraft in the air.
Mattis, in his first public comments since he was sworn in last month, said he was confident that U.S. military planners can anticipate what the technology could do in the future and design the right engines to handle it.
He also said he expects a “tremendous number” of U.N. agencies to endorse the idea.
Mattiss said he had asked a group of experts in marine propulsion to help him plan a new generation of marine engines that could replace airplanes in the sky.
Mattis said he and President Donald Trump, a former marine pilot, have talked about the possibility of the United States taking over as the world leader in marine engines.
He called the project a major opportunity.
“The idea is we can fly more aircraft without a problem, and we have more ships to fight wars in the oceans, so the idea is, let’s get to work and see what we can do with the new engines,” Mattis said.
Mattias said he is not convinced the United Nations can endorse the proposal.
He said he hopes the United Kingdom and the European Union, two allies of the U.K., can make good on their promise to support the project.
He added that he will consult with the European Council on Marine Aviation, which will have the final say on whether to support it.
Mattes also said that the U,S.
and other allies should start work on a new type of aircraft that would be able to withstand the high-speed winds of the ocean and sea conditions that come with jet fighters.
He declined to elaborate.