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New type of Navy combat ship docks at Pearl Harbor

By William Cole

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:03 p.m. HST, Mar 11, 2013


The Navy’s first littoral combat ship, USS Freedom, pulled into Pearl Harbor this morning on its way to history as the first ship in its class to head to Singapore on rotational deployments.

Four of the speedy, shallow-draft littoral (shallow water) ships are expected to deploy to Singapore with mission capabilities including theater security, mine countermeasures, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.

“This ship’s deployment lines up well with my priorities — this business of having credible combat capability forward where we can respond in a short period of time given the vastness of my area of operations,” said Adm. Cecil Haney, the commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Haney added that the San Diego-based ship “will work hand in hand with our allies, partners and friends in the western Pacific as she gets out to that area about a month from now.”

The ships are designed to defeat “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The Navy identified the need for 52 of the littoral combat ships to meet its goal of a 306-ship fleet.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the 378-foot Freedom — at least from a distance — is its paint scheme, a four-color camouflage that harks back to the “dazzle” patterns of World War I and II capital ships.






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