The Freeland File
Global Market Data
Tales from the Trail
Lucy P. Marcus
David Cay Johnston
The Great Debate
Jack & Suzy Welch
Macro & Markets
Lipper Awards 2012
Personal Finance Video
Counterparties: Today's Best Links
Dem presidents create more jobs?
Nearly two-thirds of private sector job creation has come under Democratic presidents during the last five decades, according to a new study by Bloomberg News. Read more at Counterparties
Homeowners wait months to refinance
Sign up for the Counterparties newsletter!
Green Mountain founder feeling burned by stock flap
09 May 2012
Same-sex couples should be able to marry: Obama
09 May 2012
UPDATE 2-Wreckage of Russian Sukhoi plane strewn on Indonesian mountain
Ex-Senator Edwards' wife wanted mistress gone: witness
09 May 2012
Putin not attending Camp David G8, will send Medvedev
Obesity fight must shift from personal blame: U.S. panel
Florida nabs white supremacists planning ”race war”
Obama says same-sex couples should be able to marry: ABC
World's rarest gorilla makes camera-trap debut
Wed, May 9 2012
Russian plane goes missing in Indonesia
Wed, May 9 2012
Striking workers clash with police
Wed, May 9 2012
Our day's top images, in-depth photo essays and offbeat slices of life. See the best of Reuters photography. See more | Photo caption
Photo focus: Illumination
Exposing for the light often creates a dramatic focal point in the image. Slideshow
A look inside Syria as mass protests against President Bashar al-Assad give way to armed rebellion. Slideshow
U.S. plans 10-month warship deployment to Singapore
U.S., China must work to avoid cyber conflict: Panetta
Mon, May 7 2012
Clinton confronts dissident case ahead of China talks
Wed, May 2 2012
China reach in focus at U.S.- Philippine security talks
Sun, Apr 29 2012
U.S., Japan unveil revised plan for Okinawa
Fri, Apr 27 2012
Corrected: Philippine, U.S. stage war games near disputed South China Sea
Thu, Apr 26 2012
Analysis & Opinion
How the Corvair’s rise and fall changed America forever
China joins Europe as weak link in Asian trade
File photo of USS Freedom undergoes builder's trials on Lake Michigan near Marinette, Wisconsin.
Credit: Reuters/U.S. Navy/Lockheed-Martin/Handout
By Jim Wolf
Thu May 10, 2012 12:23am EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The first of a new class of U.S. coastal warships will be sent to Singapore next spring for a roughly 10-month deployment, the Navy said on Wednesday, spotlighting a move that may stir China's fears of U.S. involvement in South China Sea disputes.
Deployment of the shallow-draft ship "Freedom" will help refine crew rotations, logistics and maintenance processes to maximize the class's value to U.S. combat commanders, Rear Admiral Thomas Rowden, the Navy's director of surface warfare, told reporters.
"We'll be deploying the ship for about 10 months in the spring of next year" to Singapore, he said in a teleconference. "In the meantime, we're prepping her for success in the execution of that deployment."
Singapore is strategically located along the Strait of Malacca, the chief link between the Indian and Pacific Oceans through which flows about 40 percent of world trade.
The government has discussed hosting up to four such U.S. "Littoral Combat Ships," or LCS, on a rotational basis at its naval facilities. Both countries have said the deployment stops short of a basing agreement.
It signals Washington's "commitment to the region and enhances its ability to train and engage with regional partners," U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his Singapore counterpart, Ng Eng Hen, said in a joint statement last month after meeting at the Pentagon.
President Barack Obama last year ordered stepped-up emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region in a "rebalancing" of U.S. national security planning after a decade of land wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Included in the so-called pivot to the Pacific would be the LCS stationing in Singapore, a rotational U.S. Marine Corps presence in northern Australia and new areas for military cooperation with the Philippines.
China has territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan across the South China Sea, each searching for gas and oil while building their navies and in some cases, their military alliances.
China's military warned the United States last month that U.S.-Philippine military exercises had raised the risk of armed clashes over contested waters amid a standoff between Philippine and Chinese vessels in a different part of the South China Sea.
Littoral combat ships are an entirely new breed of warship. Capable of speeds greater than 40 knots, they are designed for modular, "plug-and-fight" missions for mine-clearing, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.
Manned by as few as 40 core crew members, the Freedom will require a relatively small footprint in Singapore for maintenance, Rear Admiral Jim Murdoch, the program executive officer, said in the teleconference.
"A much smaller" U.S. group than 40 would be permanently deployed to the city-state, including U.S. naval and contractor personnel, he said. In addition, teams would have to come in and out when the ship is docked in Singapore for routine scheduled maintenance.
Talks on details of arrangements between the Pearl Harbor, Hawaii-headquartered U.S. Pacific Fleet and the Singaporean authorities were continuing, Murdoch said.
There are two different LCS designs. One, including the Freedom, was developed by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin Corp. The other is built by a team led by General Dynamics Corp. The Navy wants to buy as many as 55 such ships. Twelve have been funded so far, six of each type.
The Freedom has been dogged by hull cracks and engine problems, but the admirals voiced confidence that kinks would be ironed out in time for the Singapore deployment.
(This story corrected spelling of name of Singapore official in paragraph 6)
(Editing by Eric Walsh)
Related Quotes and News
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.