Four US warships designed to fight in coastal areas similar to south-east Asian waters will operate out of Singapore by 2018, a senior US Navy official said Tuesday, further underscoring Washington’s military tilt to Asia.

The “rotational deployment” of the vessels, called littoral combat ships (LCS), comes as China continues to flex its muscles in the South China Sea and tensions remain on the Korean Peninsula.

“We will soon see up to four LCS here in Singapore as we rotationally deploy Seventh Fleet ships,” said Rear Admiral Charles Williams.

“We envision four ships here by May 2017 to sometime in 2018… but I think what you have is that by 2018, four LCS ships will be rotationally deployed here to Singapore.”

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