A United States guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) an Arleigh-Burke class warship was the vessel sent late October 2015 by the US Navy to challenge territorial waters of China’s artificial islands in the West Philippine Sea.
The USS Lassen has departed from Yokosuka, Japan January 6, 2016, and it is on for a final patrol in the Seventh Fleet area of responsibility. Prior to conducting a hull swap with another Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the USS Barry (DDG 52).
USS Barry is a more capable destroyer of the same class. It completed a midlife modernization, making it among the most capable ships of its class. It is fitted with the latest Aegis Baseline 9 combat system which includes state of the art air defense, ballistic missile defense, surface warfare and undersea warfare capabilities, the US Navy official said.
Equipped with more advanced Link capabilities, including Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) to aid interoperability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, a US Navy official added.
Captain Christopher Sweeney, a commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) said, “Lassen served nearly 10 years in the Forward Deployed Naval Forces and Its performance in the 7th Fleet was beyond expectations.
“Her ability to support the mission improved our relationships with key allies and became an integral part of DESRON’s presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” Captain Sweeney said.
Another Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer that undergone modernization like Barry, was also deployed for 7th Fleet last year October 2015 is the USS Benfold (DDG 65), following the next year 2017 that will also join the fleet is the USS Milius (DDG 69).– Jason E.