U.S. Submarine in Asia Trip as Obama Seeks to Assure Allies

Submarine Diary

The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS North Carolina sits moored at Changi Naval Base in Singapore.

A U.S. nuclear submarine is making a port call in Singapore as the Navy showcases its ability to operate in shallow coastal waters after questions about the fitness of its Littoral Combat Ship for use in Asia.

The Virginia-class USS North Carolina was designed with littoral combat in mind, particularly for special operations and anti-mine warfare, its commanding officer Richard Rhinehart told reporters yesterday. It is the submarine’s second visit to the region since its commissioning ceremony in 2008.

U.S. Navy officers in the Pacific fleet have raised concerns that the Littoral Combat Ship may lack the speed, range and electronic-warfare capabilities to operate in the vast Asian waters. President Barack Obama, who made a week-long trip to the region to shore up ties with key allies, has said the U.S. would protect

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