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.