This is starting to get ridiculous. The Navy seems unable to build ships that don’t suffer frequent propulsion system breakdowns. The latest breakdown is the Zumwalt which suffered apparent seawater intrusion into parts of the system (1). Details are still sketchy.
“Both of the shafts locked during the passage and the transit had to be completed with tugs. The ship made minor contact with lock walls in the canal resulting in minor cosmetic damage.”
This was not the first incident for the ship.
“The latest casualty follows an incident in September following the ship’s transit from shipbuilder General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Maine to Naval Station Norfolk, Va. in which the crew discovered “a seawater leak in the propulsion motor drive lube oil auxiliary system for one of the ship’s shafts,” the Navy told USNI News at the time.”
“Following its Oct. 15 commissioning, Zumwalt suffered additional unspecified engineering trouble around the time arrived at Naval Station Mayport,
extra time repairing and testing the propulsion system, USNI News understands.” Fla.
Recall that seawater in lube oil systems is a problem that has plagued the LCS, as well. The Navy seems unable to keep seawater out the engineering systems.
While I have no problem with occasional engineering breakdowns, the frequency and repetitiveness of the problems across multiple ship types suggests a systemic design/quality problem. I bet that warranty that the Navy steadfastly refuses to demand from the shipbuilders is starting to look pretty appealing of late, huh? How many hundreds of millions of dollars have we spent repairing engineering casualties on brand new ships?
Maybe the Navy will issue orders for yet another safety and engineering stand down, cause, you know, those are so effective.
The Navy is so focused on building shiny new ships that they’re totally ignoring the fact that the ones they have can’t seem to stay at sea for more than a week or two without breaking down. Could the Navy’s priorities be wrong, he asked incredulously?
(1)USNI News website, “Updated: USS Zumwalt Sidelined in Panama Following New Engineering Casualty”, Sam LaGrone,