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The US sent a littoral combat ship to Europe for the first time

The United States has sent the littoral combat ship USS Sioux City to Europe for the first time, although it and other ships of its class may be on the verge of being decommissioned.

“The Coastal Combat Ship USS Sioux City of the Freedom class has been deployed to the 6th Fleet area of ​​operations, to support the interests of the United States Navy. America, NATO allies and partners in Europe and Africa. This is a historic moment for the region,” the US Navy’s 6th Fleet said in a statement yesterday.

This is the first time the US Navy has sent a littoral combat ship (LCS) to Europe. The US Navy said the deployment was an opportunity for the crew of the USS Sioux City to gain experience in an area where coastal combat ships had never been.

The image released by this force shows the USS Sioux City sailing in the Atlantic Ocean with the destroyer USS Paul Ignatius on May 4. It is not clear what mission the USS Sioux City and its two attached MH-60S helicopters will perform in Europe. The ship was previously only on duty to fight drug crimes in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.

USS Sioux City sails in the Atlantic Ocean on May 3.  Photo: US Navy.

USS Sioux City sails in the Atlantic Ocean on May 3. Image: US Navy.

The deployment comes as the US Navy wants to eliminate nine Freedom-class coastal combat ships, including the USS Sioux City, even though they have only been in service for a few years. If this border proposal is approved by Congress, the US Navy will no longer operate a coastal combat ship of the Freedom class.

The US started the LCS program in 2004, at which time this type of battleship was assessed as having a modern, cheap, flexible and optimal design for patrolling shallow seas near the coast, with maritime traffic. Busy as in the Middle East. They are expected to become the mainstay of the world’s most powerful navy by 2025.

The biggest problem with the LCS program is the concept of combat. The US Navy invests billions of dollars a year to build LCS ships, but it is not clear how to use them in practice. Due to the hasty design, this class of ships also continuously had problems with the structure and mechanical system.

The Navy’s earlier warships were built very sturdy to reduce damage in combat, while the LCS used lightweight materials to save costs and reduce draft, allowing them to operate in shallow seas. near shore. This leaves the LCS vulnerable to enemy shore defenses.

The US Navy’s budget report last year showed that each Freedom-class ship costs about $70 million a year to operate, roughly equal to the $81 million Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, while the LCS has the capacity. markedly inferior combat.

Vu Anh (According to Drive)

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