US Navy to protect Japan’s sea lanes

U.S. Navy to deploy more littoral combat ships to protect Japan’s sea lanes

East-Asia-Intel.com, September 11, 2013

The U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said Sept. 5 in Washington that the U.S. Navy planned to deploy Littoral Combat Ships [LCS] to Japan in support of amphibious and anti-submarine warfare [ASW] operations there.

The U.S. Navy’s Freedom- and Independence-class LCS vessels will take on the task of guaranteeing freedom of navigation along Japan’s vital energy supply sea lane stretching from the Strait of Malacca to the Japanese homeland.

This covers a huge area in the South China Sea claimed almost entirely by China as its sovereign waters.

The Littoral Combat Ships were first deployed in Singapore as the U.S. Navy’s newest class of surface ships with stealth design and faster maneuverability.

They were designed as the American response to the specific warfare requirements in the Western Pacific region, with the increasingly augmented Chinese surface fleet in mind.

The U.S. Navy plans to have more than 50 LCS vessels in the near future.

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3 responses to “US Navy to protect Japan’s sea lanes

  1. So we now see the LCS as filling the traditional tasks of the heavy cruisers of the period 1900-1941.

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  2. James L Habermehl

    Although I think the most recent budget proposal is to reduce the LCS program to only 24 ships, so maybe we’ll only protect some Japanese islands and only while we have an LCS available to deploy. Hope the Chinese only come out to play while we happen to be in the neighborhood.

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  3. The traditional mission of the cruiser patrol in peacetime is to “show the flag” and demonstrate a capability. It is not going to carry out an invasion or try to stop one by itself. It can do commando-type raids, chare pirates and smugglers and protect Allied shipping in its area. Much more firepower would be needed to stop a major PRC amphibious offenseive.

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