The USS Gabrielle Giffords, a handsome, fast, low-profile littoral battle ship, left San Diego earlier this month with the US Navy's new Naval Strike Missile and a drone helicopter assisting in its purpose.
The Naval Strike Missile is a radar missile cruise missile, and can be maneuvered to prevent enemy defenses, according to Raytheon, the US main contractor for the weapon. Pair it with Gabrielle Giffords with an MQ-8B Fire Scout helicopter drone, which is used to scout for targets.
Weapons increase the death of the US Navy, according to Cmdr. John Fage, a spokesman for the US Navy's 3rd Fleet confirmed their deployment.
"The Pentagon is building a military force that can operate on a more sustainable basis and have a better chance of fighting and surviving within the deadly anti-PLA of the PLA. Access, area denial envelope, "said Rand Corp. senior defense analyst Timothy Heath, referring to the mixing of ships, aircraft and missiles filled by the People's Liberation Army to control parts of the Pacific.
Both the US and China are blaming each other for the rapid militarization of the South China Sea, one of the most contested areas in the world. Many countries pursue parts of the region for heavy commercialization, but Beijing's claim is to the widest extent, covering most of the sea.
"In the face of so many armed ships and military aircraft, how can we get beyond building defense facilities?" Chinese defense minister Wei Fenghe told Shangi-la Dialogue in June.
About the Navy Strike Missile
Gabrielle Giffords was the first LCS to hold the Naval Strike Missiles, but most ships in the growing fleet of the LCS, eventually over 30, is planned to be armed with them, Navy officials told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee earlier this year.
Littoral battle ships came in two variants, the class of tri-hulled Independence which is part of the Giffords, and the single-hull Class of independence. Both variants, with drafts of 15 feet or less, are designed for operation in littoral areas or the heavy waters around the coasts and islands.
The Naval Strike Missile has had a relatively short time since the US military deployment test. Developed by Norway's Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace for the military, it was successfully tested on the littoral battle ship USS Coronado in 2014. The defense giant Raytheon became the US contractor for missiles in 2018.
The Key to the Naval Strike Missile is the range of over 100 miles, more than 30% farther than the Harpoon missiles used by the US Navy in this anti-ship capacity.
The ability to work with a helicopter drone enables the ship to target outside its own surface visible by radars.
The Fire Scout drone gives warships "eyes on the horizon," said analyst Carl Schuster, a former captain of the US Navy. "Targeting capabilities are as important as the missile system. You can only hit what you can find."
And having it on smaller littoral battle ships takes a toll on larger destroyers and cruisers, designed more specifically for open water. the conflict and which has been thin by current demands, Heath said.
While the US Navy did not officially said where Gabrielle Giffords was heading, speculation it was Singapore, where the Giffords' sister ship, the USS Montgomery, had been deployed this summer, even without the Naval Strike Missiles.
"The mission of the USS Gabrielle Giffords & # 39; s is to conduct maritime security ope rations, perform security operations in the theater, provide crisis response capabilities, and maintain a naval presence," wherever and whenever called. However, we do not discuss the details as a matter of operational security, "Fage said.
US Navy leaders have been told many times this year that they are planning to own two of the littoral battle ships operates outside of Singapore this calendar year, and more could come as the fleet was set up.
Sending a message
"This is a first step towards redressing the imbalance that has been followed more and more in recent years, "Schuster said.
Weapons can send messages not only to China, but to US partners in the region of A Asia-Pacific, including those in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations such as Singapore or Vietnam, have seen increasing disputes in Beijing over island claims and mineral rights in the South China Sea areas.
"The net effect should strengthen the credibility of the US power of corruption in the region," Heath said. "It also makes the US partnership less risky, as these investments reflect the US commitment to the region." -Vietnam relationship "class =" media__image "src =" http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190828151910-vietnam-map-exhibition-file-large-169.jpg "/>