Fourth breakdown in US Navy littoral combat ship

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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. Continue reading

Military Readiness at a Tipping Point

“The readiness of our Armed Forces is at a tipping point.”

That’s how General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, began a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee while discussing the Department of Defense’s (DOD) budget woes.

What effect this will have on specific military programs remains unclear. However, the DOD already has countless readiness concerns to show for years of underfunded modernization efforts. “Not enough people, not enough parts, not enough training, not enough everything,”lamented Vice Admiral Thomas Copeman, commander of naval surface forces for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. He put the equation thusly: “[Operational] tempos have increased, resources have gone down.” This conundrum occurred before sequestration has taken effect, it is worth noting. Continue reading