The US littoral combat ships are designed to operate in coastal areas, but are also capable of conducting operations in the open ocean and defeating threats such as mines, diesel submarines and fast surface craft.
The US Navy announcement stands in line with US strategy of deploying 60 percent of the country's navy fleet in the Pacific by 2020, as revealed by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in 2012.
Panetta said that under the strategy, the United States would deploy aircraft carriers, a majority of cruisers, destroyers, combat ships and submarines in the region. Moreover, the plan envisages an increase in the scope of drills conducted jointly with US allies in the area.
Following the announcement, China warned the Unites States against the danger of resorting to militarism, saying it could endanger peace.