June 2, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Heygel (Chuck Hagel, pictured) visited the Littoral Combat Ship USS Freedom class LCS (Littoral Combat Ship), expanded on the basis of Changi in Singapore. The arrival of this ship to a fixed home base became a symbol rotation of U.S. military strategy toward Asia, reports Defense News.
LCS-class ships made as multi-purpose, despite the significant difficulties in development. USS Freedom is the first ship in a series of 52 units totaling 37 billion dollars, which is the U.S. Navy’s plan to purchase. The ship arrived in Singapore in April this year, having made the first online outlet to the ocean. On the basis of Changi will be based four ships of this type that will allow to abandon the two-week transition from the base to the U.S. in the area of deployment.
Pentagon chief gave the highest rating training of crew of the ship. «You are doing a story here. What you represent the United States in the Asia-Pacific region, it is impossible to overestimate, «said Heygel. «Freedom,» a length of 120 m (396 ft) is a completely new type of ships. Like Lego constructor it can be adapted to perform various tasks using the plug-in modules and crews. «We see this ship as a truck, which you can download a variety of things,» says the captain, Lieutenant-Commander Clayton Doss (Clayton Doss). In the current configuration, the vehicle has a combat unit for action along the coast, including a helicopter, two 30 mm cannon and two massive Zodiac speedboats to carry out missions in Southeast Asia (SEA).
Deploying the ship passed in Singapore amid increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and China demonstrate the power of its own navy in the South China Sea, where Beijing has territorial claims to some Southeast Asian countries. There were also cases of piracy in the Malacca Strait.
Ship develops a speed of 40 knots, has a crew of approximately 100 people, of whom 35 combat service module. If this module is replaced by another, for example, on the module to perform anti-submarine or mine operations, the replacement takes less than 98 hours. «Replacement of modules is very useful, because beforehand hard to know what the mission is for you to perform. We have three different modules, but this does not mean that we will not create new ones, «says Doss.
The U.S. Navy is firmly aimed at the general mass production LCS class ships 2-types, who later formed almost 20% of the total payroll of the Navy. Also 4 ships, which will be based in Singapore, eight more planned in Bahrain.
But programm shipbuilding faced with some negative factors, including rising costs of design and construction, some experts believe that they are not armed and possess a weak combat survivability. After about 30 months of operation in one of the ships were found cracks and corrosion. Doss believes that these difficulties were solved.
«We are faced with neuvvyazkami, and remove them to step gaining ships full alert,» said last month, Vice-Admiral, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations U.S. Navy Allen Myers (Allen Myers).