The US Navy USA It has announced that the independence variant coastal combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS10) is patrolling the South China Sea while being deployed in the Seventh Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).
"Part of the 7th Destroyer Squadron, Giffords is on a rotating deployment to the 7th Fleet of the United States, helping to improve interoperability with partners and serve as an immediate response force," the Navy message states.
The USS Gabrielle Giffords is a modular and reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for Surface Warfare (SUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Mine Countermeasures (MCM) missions in the littoral region. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems, and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to obtain, maintain, and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides for joint U.S. forces. USA Access to critical theaters.
Defense News reported that patrols of the US Navy. USA Near disputed features claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea hit a record last year, recently released figures show, as the Trump administration stepped up its efforts to challenge China's territorial claims on the disputed waterway.
Ships in the US Navy USA They sailed within 12 nautical miles of the features claimed or occupied by China seven times in 2019, according to data released by the U.S. Pacific Fleet. USA islands around disputed reefs on the waterway in 2014.
China views patrols as irritating and illegal intrusions into its waters.