Fourth breakdown in US Navy littoral combat ship

The USS Independence (LCS 2), left, and USS Coronado (LCS 4) steam in the Pacific Ocean. The two are of the Independence variant LCS. Ships of this variant are 416.8 feet in length with a beam of 103.7 feet and a displacement of 3,100 metric tons.


(CNN) Less than two days after the US Navy revealed a third mechanical breakdown in a year of one of its $360 million littoral combat ships, the service has announced a fourth.

The USS Coronado was on its way back to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, after suffering an “engineering casualty,” a Navy statement said. It said it expected to reveal more about what happened after an inspection once the ship returned to port. The ship was heading to an independent deployment in the western Pacific when the mishap occurred. It had departed Hawaii on Friday.

The Coronado was under its own power but traveling with the escort of the tanker USNS Henry J. Kaiser on the trip back to Hawaii, the statement said. On Monday the Navy revealed that another of its littoral combat ships, the USS Freedom, suffered engine damage in July when seawater got inside the oil lubrication system, resulting in rust in the diesel engine.

Freedom’s breakdown followed mechanical failures in the USS Fort Worth and USS Milwaukee, all since December.

The Navy’s statement Tuesday said the Coronado’s problem appeared unrelated to those on the Fort Worth and Freedom.

But the Coronado’s incident means four of the six littoral combat ships in service have suffered mechanical failures in the past nine months.

“These ships bring needed capability to our combatant and theater commanders — we must get these problems fixed now,” Richardson said.

Full article: Fourth breakdown in US Navy littoral combat ship (CNN)

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