Home » Budget Industry » UPDATED: USS Coronado Suffers Engineering Casualty, Returning to Pearl Harbor

UPDATED: USS Coronado Suffers Engineering Casualty, Returning to Pearl Harbor

USS Coronado (LCS-4) conducts operations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016 in July. US Navy Photo

USS Coronado (LCS-4) conducts operations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016 in July. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated with additional statements from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson.

The Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado (LCS-4) has suffered an engineering casualty in route to Singapore and is returning to Hawaii to assess the damage, Navy officials told USNI News on Tuesday.

The ship suffered the casualty on Monday, three days out from Joint Base Hickam-Pearl Harbor and two months into a Western Pacific deployment.

Following the casualty, “The crew took precautionary measures and the ship is currently returning to Pearl Harbor to determine the extent of the problem and conduct repairs,” read the statement. “Coronado is operating under its own power and is being escorted by USNS Henry J. Kaiser.”

The ship is operating under its own power with a speed restriction of 10 knots, two sources familiar with the casualty told USNI News.

The statement provided to USNI News indicated the root cause is unknown, but the two sources said crew members saw electricity arcing around the Vulkan shaft and coupling system that routes the output from the ship’s General Electric LM 2500 gas turbines and MTU main propulsion diesel engines to the ship’s waterjets.

“An assessment of the casualty will be completed upon return to Pearl Harbor and additional details will be made available when possible,” read the statement.

The ship departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Aug. 26, ultimately bound for the Changi Naval Base in Singapore as part of a planned 18-month deployment.

“While deployed to 7th Fleet, Coronado will conduct routine patrols, port visits and exercises with regional navies,” the service said in a Monday statement.
“Prior to arriving at Changi Naval Base in Singapore this fall, Coronado will join exercise Kakadu in Australia, followed by Deep Sabre in Singapore.”

Coronado is the first deployed LCS with an over-the-horizon anti-ship missile – a Boeing-built Harpoon Block 1C.

Coronado’s casualty follows damage suffered to one of the Lockheed Martin-built USS Freedom’s (LCS-1) main propulsion diesel engines, USNI News reported on Sunday. The engineering casualty also comes as LCS USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) is returning to San Diego after overcoming its own propulsion casualty in January.

“The casualty appears to be unrelated to recent propulsion problems on Freedom and Fort Worth,” the Navy statement said.

Still, the Navy is concerned that there may be systemic problems with how the service operates both classes of the LCS. The service has just completed a new review of the LCS operating and maintenance concepts.

“Last night’s problem is the fourth issue in the last year,” Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson said in a Tuesday statement.
“Some of these were caused by personnel and some were due to design and engineering. These issues are all receiving our full and immediate attention, both individually and in the aggregate.”

“The entire leadership team is focused on ensuring our ships are properly designed and built, and that our Sailors have the tools and training they need to safely and effectively operate these ships. These ships bring needed capability to our combatant and theater commanders–we must get these problems fixed now.”

  • Jon

    USS Coronado does not have combining gear for the GT and MPDE. This report is flawed.

    • Jon, we’ve revised the description of the shaft and coupling arrangement on the LCS-2 class.

      • Stephen

        I hate to say it; maybe we should steal some Russian designs. Their vessels appear sea-worthy & well-armed…

        • sparky42

          Or any of the Euro hulls in operation…

  • bigchief

    Engineering casualty, fancy way to saw the POS broke down. Never heard of such nonsense, the Navy has become a social experiment, with a bunch of floating cat houses.

  • Joey Joe-Joe Junior Shabadoo

    All of the lols

    LCS defenders ASSEMBLE!!!

  • p_bigg3000

    This vessel does not have sufficient forward buoyancy to deal with the wave heights found in any ocean. It will dive into a 30 footer and not come out! What kind of naval architecture is this?
    A study, involving calculation and tank testing, predicts that the same configuration as this in the Zumwalt will cause instabilities that could sink the ship.

    • incredulous1

      you mean the bath tub? Have you seen the video of the model heeling over in turns? Me thinks there is a bit more than 15° heel.
      But the trimaran doesn’t have the inertial mass forward either, so it doesn’t need much forward buoyancy. Ie, the longitudinal gyradius is very tight. Also the sponsons are so low that in heavy seas waves will pound them and create lift there. I do like the concept of stabilized light canoe bodies rather than multi hulls or SWATH designs. We just need to find new ways of stabilizing them.

  • PolicyWonk

    What is deceitfully classified as the “littoral combat ship” now demonstrates its only virtue: as a corporate welfare program.

    Leaving behind the apparently ambitious “littoral” and “combat” aspects aside, we don’t even have a reliable “ship”: a sea-frame, with a reliable propulsion system that would allow said sea-frame to move from place to place.

  • Steve

    Are these things under warranty still?

  • Haole Jon

    Strange how this always happens right after pulling out of port, not after weeks of operation. Putting the ‘aint’ in ‘contracted maintenance’.

  • RobM1981

    A bad idea, executed poorly. Sad.

    Thanks, Navy, for squandering tax dollars while providing no defense with these white elephants.

    I sympathize for the sailors assigned to serve on them.

  • DaSaint

    Dissimilar propulsion systems. Systemic engineering casualties. Can’t blame the concept here. Either they’re being operated incorrectly, or someone has figured out how to hack into their engineering control systems.

  • disqus_zommBwspv9

    What is the name of the song? “Another Bites the Dust” This could be funny but it is NOT funny. It endangers the Sailors that man these ships. Now reading DaSaint. These ships use Wi-Fi or are connected all together in the ship systems? Even communication’s? Is that true?

  • KillerClownfromOuterspace

    The description makes no sense. Gearboxes do not have significant electrical connections. Is this some whiz bang cathodic protection system causing this?

  • Ctrot

    One would think this was a program of a third world country that had never built naval vessels before.

  • Douglas Tantillo


  • gunnerv1

    When is MY NAVY going to Junk (or sell to a Foreign Government) these pieces of Pig Iron. The only “Sea Worthiness” they have shown Shown So Far, is that they haven’t sunk (yet) Emptor Caveat!

    • sparky42

      What Navy would be insane enough to buy them? Even the Saudis are changing them.

      • gunnerv1

        The Philippine or Taiwanese Navies are likely suckers, they bought into the “Single” Screw “Knox” Class.Program (after we put 20 years or more on them, also the Oliver Hazard Perry’s are being used as “Sinkex” targets (With the 76mm Oto Melara Gun Battery still mounted (more junk)).

  • Danny Lewis

    Maybe we need to bring back the Fletcher Class Destroyers from WW2, or the people who designed and built them. They knew how to build a warship. The more crap you add to any system, the more likely it will either break down or malfunction.

    • John Locke

      Using your logic the Navy should consult with the people who built the first canoe

      • Danny Lewis

        But of course, at least they worked properly. The more so called sofistcated things become, the more things that can and will go wrong. They need to build ships under the KISS program. Keep It Simple Stupid.

        • John Locke

          Well, I guess if you could convince the Russians and Chinese to go back to using cannons and spears instead of Mach 3 ASCM’s then your Fletcher idea might be worthy of consideration.

          • Danny Lewis

            You’re still missing my point. My point being that aspects of this class of ship/ boat are nothing more than sitting ducks for your Russian and Chinese missles. Why design a system that is overly complicated. How long has it taken to go from idea, to this design and others like it? It has taken years and they still don’t work as advertised. The more complicated the tool the more prone it is to failure. When the Fletcher Class Destroyers were designed and built, they did it in record time and they were record breaking ships. Their tried and true propulsion systems, “worked”.
            Without a propulsion system that works, then, like I said, your ship/boat has a big bullseye painted on it and it is totally useless. This “craft” cannot now deploy to its duty station which means that the vessel it was supposed to relieve, has to stay longer, or if that one does come home then the area commander is now short handed.
            As another aside, take the AK47. A very simple design that works under any conditions. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to build something that is simple, and that works.

  • publius_maximus_III

    “Last night’s problem is the fourth issue in the last year,” Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson said in a Tuesday statement.

    Well, at least they can count: LCS – Lost Cause Scows.

  • John B. Morgen

    Traditional engineering designs should have been used for building such warships from the start. I would suggest the Navy to stop building anymore such warships, but stick to what really works instead.

  • Sam Culper III

    The US Navy is going to have to attach a fleet tug to every LCS while they are on deployment just like the Russians with their aircraft carrier. Four breakdowns on four separate ships in a year is just pathetic no matter how the LCS supporters try to spin it. Americans love laughing at the Russians and Chinese for their Navy’s poor reliability. Now with the LCS, our opponents have something to laugh at about the US Navy. Just ditch the POS LCS class already. These ships are not survivable, under armed, unreliable, and too expensive and are going to be easily sunk as targets.

  • jj

    the reason why we use steam powered oil purifiers from the 1930 boiler type steam powered ships, is because they work, then, now, and 75 years from today they will still be running.

  • Murray

    These ships are clearly not fit for purpose and I’m not even clear what that purpose is. Until some clarity emerges as to what to do with them and reliability issues are resolved may I suggest they be used on secondary operations in low threat areas such as apprehending drug runners and illegal fishing vessels.

  • old guy

    “Hurricanes Could Delay USS Coronado Return to Pearl Harbor.” Boogie, boogie, boogie.

  • Jack D Ripper

    ‘there is something wrong with our bloody ships’,,Adm beatty,,jutland