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In the turbulent South China Sea, the US Navy bets on a troubled warship

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Hong Kong (CNN)When US Vice President Kamala Harris stepped aboard the littoral combat ship USS Tulsa in Singapore on Monday, it put a fresh spotlight on arguably one of the most divisive vessels in the US Navy's fleet.

Depending on who you talk to, littoral combat ships (LCS) are either a naval threat capable of "blowing up every Chinese operation in the South China Sea," or a floating symbol of all the US Navy's most pernicious problems. And while US naval leaders tout the LCS' speed and agility in shallower coastal areas, critics point to its limited armaments and history of mechanical breakdowns.

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