LCS Headed for Singapore; Will Play Key Role in New U.S. Defense Strategy

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Earlier this year, the United States unveiled a new defense strategy that placed increased emphasis on Asia and the Middle East.

To implement this new strategy, the Navy will rely heavily on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). During his March 7 testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Defense, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said Navy plans call for the “forward stationing” of LCSs in Singapore “to establish our forward posture.”

And the USS Freedom – the nation’s first LCS – will lead the way. After being declared fit for duty following its successful Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) inspection in May, Freedom is preparing for its deployment to Singapore next year.

Built by a Lockheed Martin led team, Freedom will test the LCS’s concept of operations in advance of the deployment of additional LCSs to the Southeast Asian city-state. Singapore officials specifically asked the Navy to deploy the LCS there.

In his testimony before the Senate subcommittee, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the additional LCSs scheduled to come on line over the next five years will help the Navy support the new defense strategy. Ultimately, the Navy plans to build 55 LCSs, with construction split between the Lockheed Martin team and Austal.

“LCSs will be an important part of a more agile future fleet,” Mabus said. “(The ships) will allow for substantially more LCS forward presence than the frigates, mine counter-measures ships and coastal patrol craft they will replace.”

The Lockheed Martin team also includes shipbuilder Marinette Marine and naval architect Gibbs & Cox.

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