We complain about the incomplete and, in some cases, damaged ships that the Navy accepts from the builders and we wonder why they don’t enforce any warranty repair actions (turns out that most shipbuilding contracts don’t have any warranties!). We also wonder why every other country’s ships are better built than ours.
Well, the better built part is easy to explain – they aren’t! We just are more aware of our ship’s problems because we have much more open information sources for our ships. Other countries have the same problems but they just aren’t publicized.
Anyway, here’s a bit of news that addresses both the warranty and the quality of build issues.
has just returned the lead F125
frigate to the builder, after delivery, for repair of defects found during trials
– and there’s a lot of defects and they appear to be pretty serious. Germany
Here’s some of the problems as reported by Naval Today website. (1)
- software and hardware issues
- problems with the frigate’s operations room
- listing problem - they list 1.3 degrees to starboard
Here’s an amusing bit of related information.
“According to the German Navy, the new frigates will require only half the crew necessary to operate the Bremen-class frigates. They will be able to stay at sea for up to 24 months and thereby reduce the transit times for the crews. The crews will swap in regular intervals directly in the areas of operations which means that the ships will have to make fewer port visits.” (1)
Does that sound like the failed LCS program? I anticipate that the German Navy will find the same thing we did – that minimally manned crews can’t perform well, will be overworked and undertrained, and ship maintenance will suffer. Well, good luck to them.
Back to the main point … Hats off to the Germans for sending a defective ship back to the builder. Maybe their example will inspire the U.S. Navy to do the same.
It is also worth noting that this disposes of the myth that other countries build better ships than we do. A lot of observers want the
to buy and/or build foreign ships
and use foreign shipyards. I have no
problem with that, in concept, but the reality is that no one is building
problem-free ships. We just document and
hear about our problems more than other country’s. U.S.
(1)Naval Today website, “
returns lead F125 frigate to
builder, report”, Germany 22-Dec-2017,