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Two Littoral Combat Ships to Deploy to Singapore Next Year, Four by 2017

The U.S. Navy will begin a permanent presence of two Littoral Combat Ships in Singapore next year with four planned to be forward deployed and based at the Changi Naval Base by 2017, service officials told USNI News on Friday.

The service didn’t offer any additional details on which variants were to be included in the deployment or which missions packages they would field.

Following the return of Lockheed Martin Freedom-variant LCS USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) — currently operating from Singapore — the follow-on LCS would travel to Changi with the second to join it shortly thereafter.

The 2016 timeline was first reported on Thursday by Jane’s Defence Weekly.

Rear Adm. Charles Williams — commander of Combined Task Force 73 — told the magazine the Navy plans to eventually deploy two of each variant of LCS in Singapore.

In particular, Williams told Jane’s the Austal USA Independence-class LCS aviation capabilities will be valuable for the region.

“It is the largest flight deck on any of our ships short of the aircraft carriers and large deck amphibious ships,” he said.

The ships will still continue under the so-called 3-2-1 deployment plan in which three crews of will man two ships with one of those ships forward deployed at any given time.

“Under the 3-2-1 plan, baseline LCSs are to be deployed for 16 months at a time, and crews are maintain a greater percentage of the baseline LCS force in deployed status at any given time than would be possible under the traditional approach of maintaining one crew for each baseline LCS and deploying baseline LCSs for six to eight months at a time, “read a recent Congressional Research Service report on LCS.

Almost at the halfway point of the 16 month deployment, Fort Worth has had less setbacks than the USS Freedom (LCS-1) with fewer complications and casualty reports (CASREPS).

“As challenging as Freedom was, Fort Worth has just been phenomenal,” Naval Sea Systems Command’s Program Executive Officer for LCS told USNI News in April.

  • Marjus Plaku

    Well, better than nothing to shadow and chase around Chinese ‘maritime administration ships’, basically naval cutters in white, short of assigning a battle group such duty. Not sure what they plan to do with the large deck, launch UAVs from it or land Ospreys for show?

    • Michael Rich

      Not sure what they plan to do as of now, but maybe in the future they could take advantage of new UAV’s like the Lockheed Various. Just a thought.

      I still think they should just cancel the LCS and develop an actual frigate.

      • Secundius

        @ Michael Rich.

        They CAN’T. The LCS Budget is the Bush/Cheney 2005 GOP Republican Congress Budget. To cancel it, would be like admitting DEFEAT…

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  • Pops

    Hopefully they won’t have to tow them all the way over there…

    • Secundius

      @ Pops.

      As far as I know, the ships’s are all ready their. Freedom, Independence and Coronado, and in all three cases NO Fleet Tugs were required. In fact, the is Freedoms, 2nd trip there…

  • CaptainParker

    Excuse me, but just what are these floating dogs supposed to accomplish? The Chinese today could blow both out of the water with minimal effort. Does anyone in the Pentagon really believe that the Chinese are afraid or intimidated by the presence of two permanently based LCS’s in Singapore? If they are I have Bolivian bat guano bonds I’d like to sell to them.

    • Secundius

      @ CaptainParker.

      I don’t know what Freedom and Independence mission profiles in the region are. But Coronado, is doing Anti-Surface Warfare exercises in the Region…

    • USNVO

      So you are saying the Chinese are terrified of the MCMs stationed in the 7th fleet AOR?

    • Secundius

      @ CaptainParker.

      Unless you personally know a Mystery Fleet that the US. Navy is operating. Where are these ship’s suppose to come from. We can’t Reactivate, because they all been SCRAPPED. We can build, but your looking at least 18-months, before any Commissioning. Then there’s where’s the money going to come from. Remember, we have a Congress that DOESN’T LIKE TO SPEND MONEY. WAKE UP, This IS THE FLEET YOUR STUCK WITH…

  • old guy

    Remember the “Great White Fleet”? This is the “Little Colorless Ships.” BOO!

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