When US carriers were sidelined by repairs or were facing outbreaks in the crews, the Littoral Combat was thrust into a head-on confrontation which the Chinese Navy. They are proving every ship in the US Navy can carry on as replacements in a flexible US Navy strategy.

One of the first tests of the USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS10) and the USS Montgomery (LCS8) were instrumental in repelling efforts by Chinese ship to intimidate a Malaysian-contracted drillship in Malaysian waters off Borneo. The ship is the West Capella that stuck around in April and May as watchdogs, while the Chinese were kept away, reported Stars and Stripes.

 A smaller and faster platform for multiple naval missions

The two LCS Montgomery and the Gabrielle Giffords are made by the Australian-owned shipbuilder Austal USA.

According to Lawrence Ryder, Austal's customer affairs and business development director, all ships were delivered on time.

The Navy is impressed with the LCS series and acquitted themselves well in freedom-of-navigation operations. Expected deliveries of the order LCS series are on schedule, including those made by Lockheed Martin.

The LCS may not be the largest US warships but they are armed to the teeth with surface-to-surface, over-the-horizon naval strike missiles, and organic weapons suite that is vastly boosted.

“They can get somewhere fast, launch their missiles, and reposition,” he said. But Ryder said that the Navy cannot afford to purchase many large ships since these are expensive.Hence, the best option is to get a smaller ship as an alternative.

Capt. Ann McCann said that LCS is suited for a fast-paced, mission load out and very agile with capacity for operating in shallow and open waters, cited Navy Mil.

Also read: US Navy Sends Two Carrier Strike Groups as Show of Force Against PLA Naval Exercises

The similarity in size of the Gabrielle Giffords to other ships in service with navies and coastguards makes it easier to have joint exercises, she said.

Included with the Gabrielle Giffords are the Naval Strike Missile and MQ-8B Fire Scout vertical takeoff drones. Both make the LCS ability to dish out pain on any adversarial ship with increased deadliness.

One tactical advantage of the LCS is to choke shallow waters and choke points that large US ships cannot go.

McCann mentions that shallow waters in the Philippine Islands and Sri Lanka are accessible by a few ships like the LCS type. Only less than 50 ports are suitable for larger ships like destroyers, and other bigger tonnage.

Weapons package

The launch of the Naval Strike Missile by the Gabrielle Giffords was a success. Advances in anti-ship missile self-guides with 100 nautical mile range, attacking aggressors on the surface with the 57-mm MK 110 medium-caliber gun, she said according to War is Boring.

Onboard is a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter that fires the AGM-114N Hellfire missile equipped with Fire Scout drones for painting targets at BVR (beyond visual range).

LCS has been vindicated and feared by the Chinese Navy

This class of warship are not the ones to be sent intense situations or put into volatile standoffs, mentioned Defense Aerospace.

But by improving the LCS design and how the ship is deployed on rotations were a big difference.

The USS Montgomery had a 12-month rotation to Singapore and went home to San Diego a month ago, said Capt. Ann McCann, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7.

McCann added that the Gabrielle Giffords is still in rotational deployment in Singapore. Another is the expected deployment of US Navy Littoral Combat Ships were needed.

Related article: Chinese Navy Airs Threats, After the US Navy's Carrier Exercises in Philippine Sea