Japanese and US combat ships have conducted tactical drill in South China Sea

According to information published by the United States Navy on October 29, 2021, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and U.S. Navy have conducted a range of tactical surface warfare drills in the South China Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Japanese JS Yudachi (DD 103) and U.S. Navy USS Jackson (LCS 6) sail together in the South China Sea, Oct. 28, 2021. (Picture source JMSDF)

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Murasame-class destroyer JS Yudachi (DD 103) and Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) operated bilaterally in the South China Sea, Oct. 28-29.

Joining to form a surface action group (SAG) while transiting, the ships practiced a range of surface warfare tactics to include flight operations, communications drills and coordinated tactical maneuvering, all designed to enhance interoperability and enabling the ships to practice bilateral tactics in close proximity to one another.

Coming together with partners and allies at sea allows the U.S. Navy to operate closely with other navies and in ways shore exercises do not allow. It further provides the crews with real-life situations to practice their everyday watchstanding and communication skills with foreign vessels.

During its way to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters to engage in counter-piracy mission, JMSDF JS Yudachi destroyer met with the U.S. Navy Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Jackson, and conducted various tactical training. For many years, Japan and U.S. naval forces are working closely in any sea area, making full use of the characteristics of the naval force.

The USS Jackson (LCS-6) is an Independence-class littoral combat ship in service with the United States Navy. The ship was commissioned in December 2015. The LCS was designed to operate in contested littoral waters in conjunction with other Navy forces. The LCS’s primary missions are antisubmarine warfare (ASW), mine countermeasures (MCM), and surface warfare (SUW) against small boats (including so-called “swarm boats”), particularly in littoral (i.e., near-shore) waters. 

The U.S. Navy LCS program includes two very different LCS designs. One, called the LCS-1 or Freedom-class design, was developed by an industry team led by Lockheed. The other, called the LCS-2 or Independence-class design, was developed by an industry team that was then led by General Dynamics. 

The JS Yūdachi (DD-103) is the third ship of Murasame-class destroyers in service with the JMSDF). She was commissioned on 4 March 1999.  The Murasame-Class guided-missile destroyers are third-generation multi-purpose ships of the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF). The ship is designed to conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) missions.