This post has been updated to correct the spelling of the second Zumwalt class guided missile destroyer. The correct spelling is Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001).
Less than a month ahead of its commissioning, the Navy’s next-generation destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) suffered an engineering casualty that could take up to two weeks to repair, Navy officials confirmed to USNI News on Tuesday.
The ship’s crew – currently pier side at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. – found the fault in the ship’s engineering plant on Sept. 19 ahead of at-sea tests. Zumwalt is now undergoing repairs that may take anywhere from 10 days to two weeks.
“The crew discovered the casualty after detecting a seawater leak in the propulsion motor drive lube oil auxiliary system for one of the ship’s shafts. The built-in redundancy of the ship’s propulsion plant allows this first-in-class ship to operate with multiple engine configurations. However, it was determined that the repairs should be completed in port prior to the ship transiting to sea,” U.S. Naval Surface Forces said in a statement to USNI News.
“Zumwalt will conduct the repairs at Naval Station Norfolk prior to getting underway for training and certification operations.”
The 16,000-ton destroyer named for former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt is set to commission in Baltimore, Md., on Oct. 15. A Navy official told USNI News the repairs would not affect the commissioning schedule.
The ship is based around twin 155mm Advanced Gun Systems that can fire GPS-guided rocket-propelled shells more than 60 miles to hit land targets.
In addition to the gun systems, a key feature of the ship is its complex integrated power system (IPS) that uses the ship’s gas turbine output to power an electrical grid rather than a direct mechanical connection to the propulsion system.
Testing the extensive electrical system resulted in extended delays in delivery of the ship from shipbuilder General Dynamics Bath Iron Works.
Following commissioning, the ship was due to transit to its new homeport at Naval Station San Diego, Calif., and undergo a combat system activation period ahead of joining the fleet in earnest in 2018.
The class was designed, as part of a wider Pentagon push in the early 2000s, to push the technological envelope. The class of more than 30 was trimmed to three to save costs.
Zumwalt is the first of the trio in the $22-billion class. Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) and Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) are currently under construction at BIW.
The following is the complete Sept. 20, 2016, statement from the Navy on the engineering casualty Zumwalt suffered.
USS Zumwalt to conduct repairs at Naval Station Norfolk
Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific
On Sept. 19, the future guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) experienced an engineering casualty during preparations to get underway from Naval Station Norfolk.
The ship will remain in Norfolk to conduct an assessment of the casualty and complete repairs.
The crew discovered the casualty after detecting a seawater leak in the propulsion motor drive lube oil auxiliary system for one of the ship’s shafts.
The built-in redundancy of the ship’s propulsion plant allows this first-in-class ship to operate with multiple engine configurations. However, it was determined that the repairs should be completed in port prior to the ship transiting to sea.
Repairs like these are not unusual in first-of-class ships during underway periods following construction. Zumwalt will conduct the repairs at Naval Station Norfolk prior to getting underway for training and certification operations.