Home » Budget Industry » Updated: USS Zumwalt Sidelined in Panama Following New Engineering Casualty

Updated: USS Zumwalt Sidelined in Panama Following New Engineering Casualty

Guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) arrives at Naval Station Newport on Sept. 8, 2016. US Navy Photo

Guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) arrives at Naval Station Newport on Sept. 8, 2016. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated with additional information on Zumwalt’s casualty and repair schedule.

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is pier side following an engineering casualty the ship suffered transiting the Panama Canal, U.S. Navy officials told USNI News on Monday.

The guided missile destroyer will undergo repairs at a former U.S. naval station until its fit to complete its journey to Naval Station San Diego, Calif., U.S. 3rd Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Ryan Perry told USNI News.

The ship was in the midst of a southbound transit through the canal when it suffered the casualty, Under orders from U.S. 3rd Fleet commander Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, Zumwalt is now stopped for repairs at the former U.S. Naval Station Rodman, he said.

“The timeline for repairs is being determined now, in direct coordination with Naval Sea Systems and Naval Surface Forces,” he said.
“The schedule for the ship will remain flexible to enable testing and evaluation in order to ensure the ship’s safe transit to her new homeport in San Diego.”

A defense official told USNI News on Tuesday the repairs could take up to ten days.

The ship lost propulsion in its port shaft during the transit and the crew saw water intrusion in two of the four bearings that connect to Zumwalt’s port and starboard Advanced Induction Motors (AIMs) to the drive shafts, a defense official told USNI News on Tuesday. The AIMs are the massive electrical motors that are driven by the ship’s gas turbines and in turn electrically power the ship’s systems and drive the shafts.

Cables running to one of two Advanced Induction Motors on USS Zumwalt. USNI News Photo

Cables running to one of two Advanced Induction Motors on USS Zumwalt. USNI News Photo

Both of the shafts locked during the passage and the transit had to be completed with tugs. The ship made minor contact with lock walls in the canal resulting in minor cosmetic damage. Following the transit, the Navy determined the ship couldn’t continue to its new homeport at Naval Station San Diego without additional repairs.

The latest casualty follows an incident in September following the ship’s transit from shipbuilder General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Maine to Naval Station Norfolk, Va. in which the crew discovered “a seawater leak in the propulsion motor drive lube oil auxiliary system for one of the ship’s shafts,” the Navy told USNI News at the time. A service official told USNI News the most recent incident is similar. The service has narrowed down the likely problem to lube oil coolers leaking. The service replaced all four lube oil coolers following the September casualty.

Following its Oct. 15 commissioning, Zumwalt suffered additional unspecified engineering trouble around the time arrived at Naval Station Mayport, Fla. and spent extra time repairing and testing the propulsion system, USNI News understands.

Zumwalt entered the Panama Canal following a successful port visit to Colombia last week – a visit which the service intended to skip if it thought the engineering problems would continue, several defense officials told USNI News.

The ship’s engineering plant – the Integrated Power System (IPS) – is arguably the most complex and unique in the service. Installing and testing the system — that provides ship additional power margins to power high energy weapons and sensors — was a primary reason the ship delivered months late to the service.

Before the casualty, the ship was set to arrive in San Diego by the end of the year and start weapon system activation period before joining the fleet as an operational warship sometime in 2018.

Zumwalt is the first of three in the $22-billion class. Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) and Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) are currently under construction at BIW.

  • John Locke

    LCS and Zumwalt are making steam look pretty good

    • sferrin

      Yeah, that’s typically what the Luddite’s say whenever something new doesn’t work 100% right out of the box. “Hurrr, crappy jet engine blew up on the test stand. We should go back to props and ditch this unproven witchcraft.”

      • John Locke

        the difference is that these ships aren’t on a test stand

        • sferrin

          Effectively, they are. That I have to explain that to you. . .well, let’s just say you aren’t doing yourself any favors.

      • jacknine

        Truly serious question, but isn’t sealing shafts something that has been figured out a long time ago or are these a different approach all together?

      • old guy

        INSULTING, AND PEJORATIVE. If you can’t stick to facts, please don’t waste our time. I have detailed 23 design failures on the 2 designs, including DD100 roll instability due to tumblehome (proven in tank tests) and over complex system replacement design, in the LCS, which is a supposedly INTERCHANGEABLE SYSTEM adaptive hull. Locke is correct.

    • old guy


  • johnbull

    I’m not a naval engineer by any means, but I can’t help but wonder if there is something bigger going on. The LCS that can’t seem to go anywhere without breaking down, this pretty serious sounding issue, and the generator problems on CVN-78, do they make a pattern?

    • Curtis Conway

      The function here is that the current leadership of programs large or small can’t seem to close the deal on new technology. The Aegis Program is the bright light in the room, even with all the changes (ECP activity) on Flt III. These failed programs are not ‘building a little and testing a little’, they are trying to change the universe in one failed swoop, and failed are they. SPENT lots of money, engineering time, and what do they have to show for it? Thank G-d we are not at war, for this would cost the lives of many a sailor.

  • Curtis Conway

    This is EXACTLY why Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) is so important. Pure electric drive can strand you, but HED will always have the Gas Turbine and the Main Reduction Gear to fall back to when casualties occur. We are going to do what with these vessels? Send them into Combat. Damage will occur, and multiple layers of redundancy are required to keep fighting and win. Otherwise you are just like Scoty in Star Trek when he sabotaged the USS Excelsior. “The more they think up the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain”.

    • Paul

      Gotta love random Star Trek references!

      • SSNS4EVR

        Spock: “There is an ancient Vulcan proverb – Only Nixon could go to China.” I could never figure out exactly where it fit on Vulcan, but it made me smile.

    • NavySubNuke

      Unless you are advocating for completely independent shafts and propellers I don’t see how having gas turbine back ups would have helped in this situation.
      The issue seems to be one of seawater leaking through bearings into a place it isn’t supposed to through an area of the propulsion train that would be common even if you had hybrid electric/gas turbine drive. As the article states – “the crew saw water intrusion in two of the four bearings that connect to Zumwalt’s port and starboard Advanced Induction Motors (AIMs) to the drive shafts”.

      I’m betting this is a shaft seal issue. The real concern is if it is caused by a design issue, a manufacuring/installation issue, or an operations issue – either crew error or just abnormal operating conditions caused during ship construction. Fingers crossed it isn’t a design issue!

      • Curtis Conway

        We are not having these leakage problems on shafts on CG-DDG vessels, just the new electric drive motor bearings. So, I guess . . . yes we are talking about conventional shafts, CRP propellers, and Main Reduction Gears. Those bearings are very well understood . . . functioning bearings on the standard shafts on legacy vessels. Of course the leakage problem will be fixed, and the force will move forward from that point. However, in my book the lesson here is the IPS works well. The gas turbines work well. The electric motor in and of themselves work well. Inclusion of that technology on existing MRG constructs with mature drive systems makes more sense. In my estimation the NSC hull should go through a similar conversion keeping the current drive system and just upgrade to HED propulsion so we can go farther on less fuel, and retain higher speed operations with the gas turbines. The electric motors can be generators when on gas turbine prime mover power, and provide more power, and perhaps casualty power to the systems when required. The 4160v IPS is the way to go for distribution and control.

        • NavySubNuke

          By the same token if we are having this problem because of a manufacturing/installation error or due to an operation error we would not expect to have this problem on CG-DDG vessels either. The only way your solution makes sense is if this is some sort of inherent design issue.
          Let’s not scrap the entire concept because of a single event with an as yet unknown cause.
          If you know anyone in the PMS-450 shop ask them about how much fun the first shaft seal change out was for USS VIRGINIA — and she was using legacy main engines and reduction gears hooked up to a conventional shaft and a propulser.
          Also, by applying your logic our legacy CGs-DDGs should have carried both steam boilers and gas turbines since at the time they were designed and the first units constructed gas turbines weren’t proven and could have left you stranded.
          Electric drive offers far to many advantages maintenance wise and cost wise to continue to chain ourselves to expansive and difficult to maintain machinery such as reduction gears. Particularly for submarines where switching from steam powered main engines and reduction gears to an electric drive fed from steam powered generators offers enormous benefits stealth wise.

          • coolit10

            It didn’t sound like a single event but at least 2 on the same vessel. At war you need sustainability more than stealth. With drones and other technologies it is hard to hide a large ship regardless of its capabilities. Too much new stuff in one package and you get a camel just like our new fighters. Not good at anything. Build more and more, with tried and true technologies. Higher numbers of less sophisticated units that are more dependable, or error like Hitler and build less numbers with higher sophistication with higher losses by percentage. A-10s are a good example of purpose built as was the Sherman and Abrams. This is some non-combat persons wet dream and they need to grow up.

          • NavySubNuke

            The real trick is threading the needle between affordability and capability. Not enough capability and a lot of people die unnecessarily all in the name of saving a few bucks.
            Not enough affordability and you end up with a small number of amazing platforms that get overwhelmed.
            I’m with you on stealth not mattering too much for surface ships — but stealth is still the biggest factor in determining if your submarine lives long enough to come home.

          • Refguy

            But the Z is neither affordable nor capable

          • NavySubNuke

            Not affordable for sure – not capable I am not sure I agree with. Regardless we are only building 3 so it won’t matter in the long term.

          • Curtis Conway

            “Let’s not scrap the entire concept because of a single event with an as yet unknown cause.”
            I’m not scrapping anything. The DDG-1000 Class will be a three ship engineering platform anyway, so we learn what we can learn from the new technology, it’s just an expensive experiment. What works, and what doesn’t is what is important. The new 4160v IPS seems to be doing well, and that is required for new vessels with directed energy weapons, and Hybrid Electric Drive systems. Evidently the new naval engineers have no idea what ‘graceful degradation’, and ‘casualty mode’ is, so it works or it doesn’t, in which case in combat . . . if it doesn’t, your just DEAD! Ever hear of Battle Short?
            How did the electric drive submarine shafts seal?
            “Also, by applying your logic our legacy CGs-DDGs should have carried both steam boilers and gas turbines since at the time they were designed and the first units constructed gas turbines weren’t proven and could have left you stranded.”
            Not so. Gas turbine as a propulsion methodology was well proven, particularly overseas and on large vessels. There was always redundancy via the other LM2500 on the MRG. Goodness, electrical power was TRIPLE redundant with three 501K GTGs. This electric drive has a SINGLE breakdown item that can cripple the TIRE SHIP and make you dead in the water, and Broke on Both sides. Classic single point failure analysis.
            “Electric drive offers far too many advantages maintenance wise and cost wise to continue to chain ourselves to expansive [expensive?] and difficult to maintain machinery such as reduction gears. Particularly for submarines where switching from steam powered main engines and reduction gears to an electric drive fed from steam powered generators offers enormous benefits stealth wise.”

            Hey I’m with you, and am all ears, but how did the electric drive submarine shafts seal? Was any of that wisdom and engineering involved in this installation? Evidently not! We are paying how much for all of this? How about some Land Based Test Site information, or did that take place? Oh, I see, moving along quickly are we! $Billion dollar mistakes, with a too small fleet, in a dangerous world, is gambling with this nation’s defense dollars that is untoward, ill advised, and outrageous in this case, and in combat would have gotten the crew killed. I expect an uncontested movement of a vessel of this magnitude to perform somewhat better than the average LCS transit, particularly with Capt. Kirk at the helm. Where is Scoty when you need him?

          • NavySubNuke

            You said: “This electric drive has a SINGLE breakdown item that can cripple the TIRE SHIP and make you dead in the water, and Broke on Both sides. ”

            Which single breakdown item do you mean? From what i have read the ship has multiple electric motors as well as multiple electric generators to make power for them. What am I missing?

            Also, do surface ships typically have multiple sets of reduction gears? Because on a submarine although we have multiple main engines they turn the same single set of reduction gears which in turn spin a single shaft and a single prop/propulser. As far as an electric drive shaft seal vs. a regular — the shaft seal is downstream of the reduction gears so the shaft seal will be the same as if it wasn’t an electric drive.
            Also, the commercial world, including large cruise ships, have been using electric drive for years so I am not sure why you think electric drive isn’t a proven technology.
            The OHIO Replacement is going to be all electric drive by way. But at least NR is in charge of that one – they’ll make sure it works.

          • Matt Sc

            Most ships (all, now that the FFG Perrys are decommissioned, I think) have 2 or 4 screws, and each screw has its own MRG. The Oliver Hazard Perry class FFGs had a single screw, but they also had some supplemental outboards for if the main screw was offline, and I think they made pier work a breeze.

            Larger ships have 4 screws (CVNs, at least the Nimitz does, and I think the Ford class will as well, and at least some, if not all, of the various amphibs). Again, each with an MRG.

            Subs are somewhat uncommon for having only a single shaft as far as the fleet’s concerned. You’re right in that quiet and stealth are useful traits for a sub, but they aren’t really all that useful for the surface force compared to reliability. That nuke balance you know is weighed much more to reliability in the surface fleet, since surface ships are supposed to be able to take some hits and keep fighting – the FFGs being the only major exception to that rule (and more because they were designed to be cheap and numerous, not sluggers that would keep in the fight.)

            …then again, you also have the old story of the Destroyer-Escorts in the battle of Leyte Gulf. This is what surface ships need to be capable of.

            A submarine, on the other hand, takes a good hit or two, and it’s all over, so they are, in many ways, glass cannons, in which case the stealth component is vastly important. But the technology, particularly if its reliability or redundancy isn’t very deep, isn’t 100% applicable to all parts of the fleet, just the sub forces and possibly smaller, cheaper ships (which the Zumwalt as a class certainly is not.)

            Honestly, I thought from the beginning the Zumwalts should be nuclear – would make sense to have a core as the power source for railguns as they’d have ample power to quickly recharge capacitor banks and effectively an endless energy supply (as far as individual engagements are concerned)…but what do I know? I do feel like it should be possible to use sub single core designs on a cruiser platform fairly capably. They would definitely fit within the size constraints.


            ALL THAT SAID…the problem here, as you kind of pointed out, seems to be with the ship’s design as a whole, not the engines/power plant. Just from reading the article, it seems to be a combination of things. The lube oil coolers (presumably using some seawater system as a heat sink) were pointed out as a source of problems, and then you have the shaft seals – which should NEVER BE A PROBLEM, as that’s a design issue (of the ship, shaft, seals, or all three, which shouldn’t happen on a ship with a $22 million price tag!)

            …but, none of those things are likely related to the electronic/power plant. It basically sounds like shoddy workmanship and/or design specs for the seawater interfaces with major ship components, which is, frankly, terrifying. Of all the things to not have working right on a ship, potential paths for seawater entry rank pretty high on the “This is very bad” list.

          • Niki Ptt

            Amphibs are mosty fitted with twin screws. The power output of the plant is just not enough to justify an extra set of propellers.

          • Niki Ptt

            “but how did the electric drive submarine shafts seal?”
            Had to work one time on such a shaft seal. Triple redundancy (although the last level of redundancy will damage the shaft jacket out of any possible repair), but extremely expensive, and less durable than other systems. Not a problem since submarines enter drydock far more often than surface combatants.
            But it might be possible to simplify the system for a surface combatant application.

          • Curtis Conway

            Like that triple redundancy.

        • Warlock Reginald G. Lawson

          Because they (CG47 and DDG51 CL) were designed when the Navy was still good at designing ships. None of the new designs are doing too hot. Including the new CVN.

          • JustSomeGuy

            “Dang it! If only we’d thrown a FEW more billions of dollars at this thing, it coulda been PERFECT!!” (Admiral grimaces, and stomps his foot).

          • Tom Hughes

            They may break down all the time, but boy howdy they sure look good, tied up to the dock.

          • bobcannon

            Like the new fighter jets, Obama DOD sabotaged as many war machines as he could.

          • Spawn_of_Santa

            Blaming that on Obama is kind of ignorant of history. These plans and designs have been around since LONG BEFORE the Obama administration came into power.

            The F-35 program was awarded on 26 October 2001 – Bush was president. The contest started during the Clinton administration. If the Obama administration should be held to task for anything, it would be for not cancelling this POS.

            The LCS, the other glaring mistake out there right now dates back to the 1990s with a final commitment in 2003. Also, in the Bush administration. These POSs should be transferred to the Coast Guard where they belong an the Navy should develop a real Aegis FFG like so many other countries have done. If we need a small, heavily armed ship then we should renew the 2001 “Streetfighter” program and build 1,000 ton corvettes along the lines of the Buryans the Russians are deploying in Syria.

            The Zumwalt is a carry over from the DD (or SC) 21 program cancelled by Rumsfeld. But it originally dates back to 1997. The DD(x) program was funded 23 November 2005 – well inside the Bush administration. You can thank Robert Gates for coming to his senses canceling further building of these overly expensive, and apparently SENSITIVE …test platforms… I can’t call them warship…they wouldn’t last in a fight.

            But guess what… the President doesn’t have the power to summarily cancel contracts already signed. So, the fault lies in those who approved these designs, even more so than than those who continued them given when the contracts were created. But damnit, why do we have to KEEP BUYING crap that doesn’t work and is going to get our people killed? That’s where we can blame today’s politicians.

        • Bruce1369

          Shoddy Union workmanship.

        • SSNS4EVR

          Curtis – Your idea has but one fatal flaw….They can never, I mean never, seek input from anyone who’s ever worked in the areas of focus, when it comes to engineering or the design of a work space. The people who have to work there are left as the poor ba$tards expected to miraculously come up with all solutions to any problems encountered. Only when some PO2 comes up with a simple solution to a major problem, and draws a picture for NAVSEA, will NAVSEA show up, charge the DoD a mere tens or millions of dollars, and implement a shipalt. We have a great system.

      • Warlock Reginald G. Lawson

        Shaft seals are problems on newer class ships. LCS has them too.

        • reed1v

          NOt. You otherwise would have a bunch of subs at the bottom of the ocean.

          • NavySubNuke

            Wrong – just as the PMS-450 folks how well it went the first time they had to change out the shaft seal on the virginia. Just because the boat doesn’t sink doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.

      • model94

        Prop shaft sealing integrity is a pretty new challenge to marine vessels. Give them time to figure it out.

        • Quasimodo

          Back to paddle wheels!

        • NavySubNuke

          LOL. Unfortunately even though it is not a new challenge it is still always a challenge.

        • reed1v

          Not in the vessels I have sailed in.

        • bobcannon

          Bet you dollars to donuts the ships Trump’s DOD plans/builds will be reliable and perform well.

      • Lignum Vitae – used for submarine shaft bearings and seals. I’ll sign your qual card later.

    • Warlock Reginald G. Lawson

      America can’t build new ship classes very well that’s all.

      • coolit10

        Too many lobbyists with high ranks is the problem in our military industrial complex. Politicians screw up wars but few have to fight in them or their sons and daughters.

        • Jim

          It’s like this – an elephant is a mouse built by committee.

    • Dax75

      actually less likely for pure electric or pure internal combustion to strand you than a funky hybrid.

      • Curtis Conway

        Only in automobiles. The new DRS PMM going on the MRG of DDG-51 Flt IIAs will never leave you stranded, for you always have the LM2500s (two providing additional redundancy). Should you desire to stretch your fuel, run one GTG and power the ship with the electric motor and travel at 12 knots at a significantly lower fuel consumption. NO SINGLE POINT FAILURES!

        • I just can’t wait to see how they screw up that nuclear powered BMD icebreaker.

          • sferrin

            Whatever you’re smoking, I want some.

    • Niki Ptt

      Not to restart the argument about the HED (in the vernacular CODELAD or CODELAG), but you have to drive the shafts through the Main Reduction Gears in order to keep the electric motors’ size reasonable. Unless your electric system is just a Power Take-Home backup propulsion system.

      I’ve designed more than a few number of propulsion systems for both military and civilian ships, and I can assure you that reaching an acceptable level of redundancy is not an easy task, even for a CODELAD/CODELAG system. The best way I found as of now is an electric azimutal propeller up front, with a backup generator nearby, fay away from the engine room… and it’s just to take you back to the nearest harbour without assistance in case of a total engineering casualty.
      My two favorite systems as of now, but difficult to fit on smaller ships, are CODAG-WARP (no Star-Trek pun intended ^^) and CRP-Azipod. Both offer a high efficiency level at most speeds and a more than acceptable level of reliability and redundancy. Also a true clusterfuck from a design standpoint, but what the heck, worth it!

      • Curtis Conway

        Built Tico and learned to love the DD-963 system with all the bells and whistles. We DO have a little experience with that construct, and it offers the greatest reliability, and least risk propulsion path. What DDG-1000 has is still a dream until the configuration pans out . . . and it AIN’T good so far. I’m as excited as everybody else about this expensive experiment, but it seems the Integrated Product Team was skipped and some very proud engineers were way too powerful in this construct.

        • Niki Ptt

          “some very proud engineers” Am I targeted here? ^^
          More seriously, I always have arguments with marine engineers over the arrangement of the engine rooms, but so I have with the structure designer, the marine architect, the electricians, the plumbers, and fairy bloody godmother. It’s always a compromise, so if you abide to every marine engineers’ requests, you’ll end up infuriating someone else.
          I tried to put together Integrated Product Teams more than once, but itt’s just impossible to put all these guys around the same table without losing days in childish arguments. I prefer taking them one by one, and explain to the others, diplomatically, why they can’t have everything they want. It works, but it takes time.
          By the way, one of the main reason I don’t like gas turbines, aside from the points I’ve mentioned before, is that ships I design often go to tropical or equatorial waters, and the hot weather transforms the already not-so-great fuel efficiency of gas turbines into a f***ing nightmare for endurance. Take for example the RN Type 45s and their recurring engineering casualties due to hot weather. And I suspect the DDG-51s to have the same kind of problems, although with less severe consequences.

          • Curtis Conway

            Well, apologizes, I did not know you were an engineer. However, Boeing seems to pull off IPTs quite often to good effect. You are correct about the gas turbines in a warm environment, but we typically don’t live there, and get that lost efficiency back in colder water. One must design to the macro environment, not the micro.

            “…itt’s just impossible to put all these guys around the same table without losing days in childish arguments.” THIS requires LEADERSHIP with a Firm Hand!

    • Refguy

      But a leak at the shaft bearing or the lube oil cooler will disable the shaft no matter how many different kinds of drive motors you have

      • Curtis Conway

        How many DDGs and CGs are having this problem? There are only 63 DDGs in the water and 22 CGs in the water. How many are having this problem? Now unless I’ve missed something, there is only ONE DDG-1000 in the water.

    • Spawn_of_Santa

      I dunno, my old Adams Class DDG ran on steam with two big shafts sticking out the back and we never had leakage problems.

      Go old school, this fancy stuff seems to be…. fragile.

      • Curtis Conway

        The problem will eventually be fixed and reliably, but not today. Gotta get some time on it operationally for a year or two. Experience should reign. No room for risk in this environment. We are too small & light in forces, and not in enough places. NO MORE RISK.

  • Keith B. Rosenberg

    I’ll bet the crew has a nickname for the Zumwalt and its troublesome engines. I wonder what it is?

    • Peak Oiler

      Ugly P.O.S. ?

      • LDM

        LOL – bet yur right on- HA!
        ‘They’ sure don’t make things like they used to….

    • Captain Reynault

      The BOHICA.

  • MLepay

    First ship of the class is bound to have problems especially with new technology. They will work out the kinks and still have plenty of time to do it while they install the combat systems and figure out how to utilize the guns (i.e. what ammo to use going forward) too. Seems too many are too ready to proclaim failure way too quickly. Yes the LCS has has had issues as has the Ford. Again all new classes with new technology or technology not used in the Navy in its current configuration. Personally I think the biggest reason these ships get such a bad rap is that we are in the information age and there is much greater access to these types of reports and the ability to express individual opinions about them to far greater numbers than any time in history. I am sure if someone did a detailed review of other new classes of ships with new and unproven tech on board when launched/commissioned from the seemingly perfect past, as some would describe it, they would likely see similar results.

    • Lazarus

      Well said. The US is not at war, and while DDG 1000 and LCS both tried to make too many new things work in the progression of a single class, the technologies and capabilities they bring will be of paramount importance in the next big war. Yes, these systems fail sometimes as the bugs are worked out, but that has always been the case. The difference now is the need to feed a 24/7 news cycle. Electric drive, smaller crews, modular capabilities and other “non-traditional” aspects of some new warships can and will be made to work. Those who complain to the contrary sound like 19th century experts who thought sails should be left aboard warships since steam power was “unreliable.”

      • coolit10

        So we are going to take unproven technologies into our next war. Great. Some people profit from war and others die from them. Utilize proven technologies in war machines, and keep improving the unproven. And fire the ranking members involved in these boondoggles.

    • Sailordude

      Or it’s a one off like the USS Long Beach. We shall see where the budget takes it.

    • Refguy

      But many of the failures do not involve new technology

  • NavySubNuke

    Sounds like one fo the nubs forgot to feed the shaft seals and they starved to death…

    Seriously though it sounds like the shaft seals are the issue. Hopefully it is either a problem with the manufacturing of the seals themselves or the way the crew was operating them because finding out at this point that the shaft seals were a design flaw would not be an easy or cheap fix.

    Although she is a “new” ship I do wonder how old the seals themselves are – they could conceivably be 3 – 4 years old at this point and actually subject to unexpected aging/early failure due to not being used for so long after they were installed.

  • Howard A Milor Jr.

    Zumwalt was not a popular CNO so the jinx follows

    • old guy

      BITE YOUR TONGUE. HE WAS MY BOSS, and one of the sharpest minds in the Navy. It was only that he was decades ahead of the armchair flags of the time. That’s why smart guys picked him, a 3 star, for CNO.

  • Earl Tower

    What is it with the new gas turbine/electric engines of the US Navy that keep getting sea water in the drive lubricate oil???

    • Bill Honu

      Probably made in China.

      • Littlebluepill

        Made at Bath Iron Works.

        • Person223

          It’s almost certain that the steel for the hull was made in China. China produces nearly 7 times the steel that the USA does in a year. A big national security risk, but who cares about that anymore? Hillary criticized Trump for using Chinese steel, but where is a person to get American steel if they wanted it? Not enough is produced to go around. Hillary declared war on coal but also says we need to expand our steel industry. Does no one else see the contradiction here? If the coal mines are closed down, I guess we can get the coking coal from the Chinese. What difference, at this point, does it make?

          • Bruce1369

            Bessemer furnaces are easy to make.

          • Fire them.

            EPA killed our steel industry.

            Tax laws forced their scrapping instead of mothballing as a strategic reserve.

            ALL BY DESIGN.

    • John Galt

      The new seals are not certified for use in salt water environments.

      • Matthew Dale Papke

        If that is true that is absolutely priceless

      • Earl Tower

        I would hope you are joking, but with as screwed up as the procurement process has been for the DoD for the last 15 years, I would not be surprised if you weren’t.

      • Jim

        WRONG! They are. The USS Zumwalt broke down in transit of the Panama Canal, which is fresh water from entry lock to exit lock. I guess that makes it worse.

  • RunningBear

    Not sure I’m understanding these engineering casualties on “all” of these new boats. Oil and water has never mixed and simple capacitance probes in any of the oil systems can instantly detect miniscule (incipient) water leakage before any bearing or shaft damage occurs. Why are these “cheap??” oil cooling, sea water exchangers leaking? Are they really that cheap and were they bought from foreign salvage companies? The USS Texas has been laid up for 80+ years and I will bet it’s oil and water exchangers are still serviceable! God Bless Texas!

    • MHfromPA

      RunningBear is exactly right. My company manufactures an inline sensor that detects moisture in any hydrocarbon with a resolution of 35 ppm once every second. We’ve installed these products on hundreds of large ships (some owned by the government) to avoid exactly what happened on the Zumwalt. Oil coolers are an engines worst enemy. Even a minor failure in the heat exchangers will go unnoticed until the entire lube system is filled with huge quantities of water. Water bypassing seals is an equal problem that can/will destroy HUGE engines. My sensor will sound an alarm within 1 second of such failure. Anyone interested should do a google search for “easz-1 water in oil sensor”.

      • Cali Joe

        In an Oil/Water heat exchanger, any leak is directed into the low pressure fluid, at least that is what they used to be designed to do…. I’d wager they forgot that water in the oil means a dead ship; and were way too busy focusing on oil in the water is an “environmental” embarrassment.

        BTW, 30 years on and I can still gauge a hot lube oil line to 120 degrees Fahrenheit by touch.

        • wieceu

          Funny you would say that. I still get a kick out of being able to charge a refrigerant system by touch.

  • redpill2010

    Next time my car breaks down I’m totally calling it an ‘engineering casualty’

    • old guy

      O.K. but can you get tax dollars to pay for the repair?

      • Tom Hughes

        Maybe they’ll bring back Cash For Clunkers!

    • oncemorearound

      I’ve driven Dodge Trucks for years, Chrysler wrote the book on “Engineering Casualties”

      • Attm Motob

        Is that when Mercedes or Fiat Made them?

      • M1Garand

        I gave up on Dodge. My 2004 RAM got to the point that it could drive itself to the repair shop.

        • Kimbell

          I hate it when I started calling the Tow Truck Driver by his First Name…….

          • Carl Anon

            Switch to the Tundra if you have the money for it. You won’t be disappointed.

          • arctic_front

            Bought a Tundra 3 yrs ago.. It sure feels nice to never have to worry about getting where I want to go, and back again.

          • jgbennet

            I have a Toyota Land Cruiser 70 in Zimbabwe with 500k on the odometer and it’s still a beast.

          • Hugh

            My 1982 Toyota Corolla with a 1300 cc engine has travelled 560,000 km and still goes great.

          • Tom Claridge

            what ARE you talking about?

          • Allen

            What are you going to do when the japs come out from under it to shoot and kill you like they did at perl?

          • Carl Anon

            Toyota has a massive campus under construction in Plano, Texas (my home) and they are planning on building more than just the Tundra in San Antonio. Nobody with that kind of investment is going to bite the hand that feeds them. Toyota continues to invest in the USA and brings in more dollars to the American economy than GM or Ford. They’re about as American as our annual turkey pardon.

          • Allen

            Where do the profits go? Actually all of the truly high paying jobs are back over in Japan! They are Japan company, I am an American. FYI: I do hire people and anyone that I hire if they buy a Japanese car they are made were we don’t promote or give them raise unless we have to.

          • Up in smoke industries

            That’s plain stupid, I suppose you’ll return all of your pay raises because 80-90% percent of everything you own was made in china? I’ll let you know whats even worse. People who vote for a leader, someone to lead them…….Where does the stupidity stop? If I were a foreigner who was bombed by another country and my family was harmed, I would find out everyone who was responsible and kill all of their family just to make a point. We need to forget the past and start treating everyone with respect, and expect the same.

          • Carl Anon

            Your opinions on this subject are very misguided. I suggest you do your homework and figure out the numbers on your own. Toyota contributes more to the American economy than you think. I can tell you what the numbers are, but if you don’t already believe me, it’s better that you find them for yourself.

          • Diogenes65

            Is the Turkey pardon before or after the snake fest?

          • Carl Anon

            People like to make fun of the snake festival, but that event is responsible for producing most of the rattlesnake antivenom available in the country 🙂

            Also, the pardon comes before the snake festival.

          • Diogenes65

            Does rattlesnake really taste like chicken?
            For extra credit: What do people taste like to a rattlesnake?

          • Carl Anon

            I have no idea on either account.

        • pfbonney

          I can still remember the Dodge Ram Charger. I think they quit making those back in the early eighties. Extra wide wheelbase. I doubt that it was any more reliable than the regular Dodge Rams.

          • Evolve Today!

            It is funny how the old charger was like a Ford Bronco and the New Charger is a Sedan.

          • Tom Claridge

            A Bronco and Charger alike? Total nonsense! Look where this story started about a top secret star wars ship broken down!

          • Evolve Today!

            An old charger and a new charger alike? A bronco is a much better comparison. Lol. That is like renaming the patrol boat the Zumwalt!

          • Catman2

            Think readers were amused by the use of the term engineering casualty. A term akin to wardrobe malfunction. Just another spin or word game used to cover this admin’s incompetence.

          • Anthony Mirabito

            No incompetence. The program under Obama was reduced from about forty ships to just three. Just sayin’. Make America Great !

          • Henry Simpson

            So you think the US should have 40 ships that can not make a 2500 mile trip without having to go into dry dock for repairs. This ship is a great idea but like most great ideas it is just another thing that will grate on everyones nerves because of over design problems.

          • Bruiser in Houston

            Even the Russians can do better than we can with that leaky carrier they have.

          • gh79

            Russian stuff is generally very reliable. It lacks polish but it is built to be operated by conscripts with 6 months training so it is built rugged and simple. Mig 29s can land on unprepared runways where an F22 could never land. Same for the carrier. it smokes and it leaks but it can launch the planes. Of course carriers the concept itself is not rugged and simple so carriers are not a good match for the Russian military. Carriers and in general big ship building needs mastery of Systems Engineering – people who don’t do anything themselves actually but make sure everything other people are doing go together in a proper way. That is a role difficult to master. USA being the most bureaucratic major nation has mastered it and can build large ships. Most other countries people do not grow up in a system with so much red tape and are not able to understand the importance of red tape and fail to build large projects like ships or jumbo jets.

          • Arthur Cooper

            If you have ever been on an engineering inspection of a soviet sub you would immediately edit your post. I will be kind and stop.

          • gh79

            As I said big ship building (and submarines are pretty big) is not the Russians’ strength. Their SAMS and Aircrafts and Tanks are world class as is their cyber skills

          • VA Guy Proudly deplorable

            They send it out with sea going tugs.

          • VA Guy Proudly deplorable

            At least shake out the problems with this one before starting a whole lot more.

            Water entry into a lube system is liable to have done a lot of damage.

            Bearings generally do not respond well to water in their lube.

          • gh79

            As they say in Hamilton ” Immigrants we get the work done” Move manufacturing from Maine to a state with more immigrants and the quality will go up

          • jaxtotenn

            The term Engineering casualty has been around for a long long time dating back to sometime last century. It has nothing to do with PC or politics. When a Captain hears the terms Engineering Casualty, it immediately translates to propulsion problems. If you have ever served on a ship, it makes sense.

          • Marcus127

            Helicopter crews have a different way of explaining “Breakdowns”…..”The Helicopter….it is Fxcked”!

          • Rikki Tch Tch

            Nothing gets people off subject like Chrysler reliability.

        • Tom Claridge

          go somewhere else on the net where somebody cares about your nonsense!

        • gh79

          So what you are saying is Dodge is the leader in self driving cars? Wow!

      • Peak Oiler

        I guess Corvairs and Pintos don’t count, huh? BTW, I’m still driving my 23 year-old Dodge truck that I bought new in ’93. So much for your “book”.

        • oncemorearound

          Ya’ got lucky……

          • Dindoo Nuffin

            I got a cummins, no luck there.

          • Tom Hughes

            Cummins service = $$$$$$$

        • Fire them.

          Nothing wrong with the Corvair unless you’re a Ralph Nader groupie.

          • Helvetici

            Had a 1967 Corsa Corvair 6 cylinder with a dual carburetor. Boy that baby could fly…for about 5 miles. Then, when all the oil had leaked out of the oil reservoir and most had accumulated on the back of the car, it. just. stopped.

        • Dax75

          you must not be driving much or either you are a mechanic by trade. Chrysler made some of the worst vehicles in the 90s and no doubt you are on your second or third trans by now and possibly engine.

          • oncemorearound

            He got one off the assembly line built on wednesday with no holidays in the month.

          • Trusty

            Wait – you don’t remember the 1970’s and the Jimmy Carter automobile requirements?

          • KMo

            I had a 96 dakota with over 200k and still had original clutch, starter, alternator, etc. Guess I got lucky.

        • Mark Huch

          Still driving it because it runs is different from a fully functioning vehicle. Dodge windows, creaks, squeaks, clunks and rattles are enough to drive people crazy. As a friend of mine with a 92 Dodge 3/4 ton said, I would not buy this truck if they put two Cummins in it.

        • John Myers

          You forgot the mighty Vega. One quart of 50 weight per tank of gas. Chrysler gets lucky once in a while. Is there a K-car left on the road? How about having to remove the wheel and fender liner just to change a battery on those cab forward turds? Driving cars and working on them are two different perspectives. I work on them. I drive a Kia Soul. Wow simple car.

          • Had a 71 (I think) Vega. Couldn’t wear anything but thick leather shoes to drive because the fire wall was so thin that it would burn your right foot up on any kind of trip over an hour.
            Starting rolling down the window to pay a toll and about 1/2 way down the window just dropped into the door. Had to finish the next hour with no driver’s window in December in Penna. Ah, great times!

          • John Myers

            Japs had us beat back then. The Vega was GM’s weak response.

        • Toadspit

          I purchased a Dodge truck in 1987. Still going strong with nearly 300k miles. I changed one fuel pump at about 175k and that’s all the repairs except batteries and tires.

        • Kevin Sanders

          I have a 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 V-10 never had any problems

      • Person223

        Pffft. You unscientific, unreasonable cretin with a conclusion looking for evidence rather than evidence supporting a conclusion.

        • oncemorearound

          Still pissed about Hillary losing …..

          • Roberto Lea

            Sore loser. Tissue paper?

      • Dax75

        perhaps you should move up to something american.

        • oncemorearound

          I got an American made diesel in it but the truck was built in Mexico while being managed by Germans…. Now the Itallians have it. Another WW2 loser.

          • Ben Wallace

            Why does the New Italian Navy have glass-bottomed boats? So the crew can see the Old Italian Navy.

          • Sgtsnuffy


          • The_REAL_grumpy_Dave

            we used to call marines “bullet stops”….;-)

          • SolidBro

            And then you saw stars and the ceiling of the bar, wondering what the heck happened and why does your jaw hurt and your teeth are missing.

          • The_REAL_grumpy_Dave

            Not hardly, the banter twixt squids and jarheads (at least the jarheads that have been out of boot for a bit of time) is friendly ribbing most of the time.

          • Bruiser in Houston

            Aqua marines? 🙂 The few, the proud, the dead on the beach? (dates back from 1981)

          • ashleyroachclip1

            the marines are the mens department of the navy

          • The_Usual_Suspect61


          • Bruiser in Houston

            Why do Italian naval vessels have the prefix AMB preceding the ship’s name?

            It stands for Atta my boat-a!

        • Ben Wallace

          I agree. My 2016 Toyota Tundra, made in San Antonio, TX, is one of the best trucks made in the USA and certainly the most reliable (according to Consumer Reports).

          • roner

            CR is a self-licking ice cream cone, so it’s meaningless….

          • Helvetici

            Kind of like a puppy with two peters.

          • Jeff1911

            Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but when my Tundra went in for repairs, the dealer called to tell me that they had no idea why it was stumbling and stalling. They kept it for over a week and escalated it up their service chain of command and supposedly ran it up to “toyota engineering.” They said come get it, we don’t know why it’s doing this, we can’t fix it. It only had 74,000 miles on it. They were happy to guide me towards a new one, at which point I laughed at him. Good luck.

          • reed1v

            Its your computer chip.

          • The_Usual_Suspect61

            Why did you call him Chip? His name is Jeff1911.

          • JohnnyBowe

            Actually, that requires a comma.

          • j James

            Nice of you supplement a Japs pension plan. I’d rather halo an American. Buy American

          • arctic_front

            Sorry J James, but the Tundra has more Domestic American content than Ford, GM or Dodge. It’s built by Texan Americans, with parts made in America. So who is supporting who’s pensions again?

          • Wolf Angel

            Wow Tundra does rock at 80% American and Canadian parts percentage.

            My Ford Explorer rocks harder at 85%

            Other Fords and GM cars are 50-75% …

            But the real question to be answered is why is this ship broken so often? It has had huge overruns, and now the 5inch guns ammunition jumped to a untenable large dollar value as they cut the number of rounds needed because of fewer that model gun, which raised ammunition cost and gun cost, which reduced orders for guns and ammo … cyclic reduction lead to cyclic inflated prices.

          • Martolt

            “Late Roman Empire” level confusion and corruption.

          • SSNS4EVR

            The big money still goes to Japan. Just like the money comes to America when Nike pays some Cambodian $0.19/hour to make running shoes. Some Cambodian is saying, “it’s built by Cambodians, with parts imported from Bangladesh. So who is supporting who’s pensions again?”

          • Bruiser in Houston

            Big money goes to shareholders. They’re everywhere.

          • j James

            In the end, a nip profits more than an American

          • arctic_front

            I profit because I don’t have to drive unreliable junk….

          • j James

            You don’t understand economics. Wouldn’t expect you to. You’re an inbred Texan. Yee haw dumbass

          • Derek Marlowe

            How many more bail-outs do you think they need before they can build a vehicle that people want? Your picture say it all-you like the gov. to wipe your bum…

          • j James

            Bum…what are you 5?

          • Fox Rules

            I don’t support the Unions, or Liberal left bail out plans. So I’m left with Ford or Foreign.

      • Garys_opinion

        I think GM beat them. I haven’t bought one of their cars since 1984.

        • The_REAL_grumpy_Dave

          GM? like the brilliant idea to run the front drive axle TROUGH the flipping oil pan on the SUVs requiring that the oil pan be dropped to fix a leaking front differential and a 1800 dollar repair bill, or the 400 dollar torrington bearing on the passenger side WITH NO GREASE port, although there is a place in the casting for one, also a 1000 dollar plus repair when it will inevitably fail.

          • reed1v

            Meanwhile my 2000 CR-V is still going strong onwards to 300k after years of hauling around livestock. Car sure is a wreck inside but the drive train still is top notch.

          • John Myers

            They don’t fail much. The only problem I see with Honda is evaporative emissions faults.

          • reed1v

            The Big Problem with Hondas is they do not wear out. Get tired of driving the same old car decade after decade; but since it still runs, can not bring myself to buy another car. Too frugal.

          • Tom Hughes

            Great cars. Newer ones too.

          • SolidBro

            My 1998 Honda Civic LX – 368,582 miles and running fine.
            Wife’s 1997 Honda Civic LX – 377,618 miles and running fine.
            Tires, brake pads, do my own oil changes (Mobile 1 only), one VTSS speed sensor replacement for the tachometer, plugs, and a dead dome light (wiring issue).

            That’s it for both cars since 1997.

          • Sigint

            I wish Honda made a real truck.

          • SolidBro

            So do I.

          • RS

            Or transverse mounted engines on the older Monte Carlos that NOBODY wanted to work on except to swap out the alternator after driving through a mud puddle cause they put it near the bottom, you mean that GM?

          • John Myers

            At least they don’t have spark plugs that break off in the heads like a Triton, or cam phaser knock like a Trton.

          • Tom Hughes

            Kias have trouble with their spark plugs popping out of the heads, with the threads from the head of course. It’s been a plague for dealers. They just keep stacks of heads in the parts bin.

          • John Myers

            I have not seen that at Pep Boys . They just come in for tires and oil changes

            Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device——– Original message ——–From: Disqus Date: 11/22/2016 7:19 PM (GMT-07:00) To: [email protected] Subject: Re: Comment on USS Zumwalt Sidelined in Panama Following New Engineering Causality
            “Kias have trouble with their spark plugs popping out of the heads, with the threads from the head of course. It’s been a plague for dealers. They just keep stacks of heads in the parts bin.”


            A new comment was posted on USNI News

            Tom Hughes

            Kias have trouble with their spark plugs popping out of the heads, with the threads from the head of course. It’s been a plague for dealers. They just keep stacks of heads in the parts bin.

            9:19 p.m., Tuesday Nov. 22


            Other comments by Tom Hughes


            to Tom Hughes

            Tom Hughes’s comment is in reply to

            John Myers:

            At least they don’t have spark plugs that break off in the heads like a Triton, or cam phaser knock like a Trton. Read more

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          • Tom Hughes

            They have to be towed to the dealership when it happens. You won’t see it. Also, it isn’t all of them, not sure which models.
            Thanks for the reply!

          • John Myers

            They don’t have to be towed to a dealership. Thanks for using your real name like I do.

          • Tom Hughes

            You can’t drive them with plugs hanging out!

            Had a coworker struggle with the problem, she went through 3 cylinder heads before she gave up. The Kia dealer was repairing several a week.

            Yeah, it’s so much easier to just stay real.

            What town do you work in?

          • John Myers

            Phoenix. Downtown in the bario.

          • StartToStopTalking

            Sure you can. It sounds funny and misses on the cylinder, but youc an def drive it. I fixed one with a kit fron AZ. Cut new threads and installed a helicoil.

          • Tom Hughes

            BTW, this was a new Kia in 2011.

          • Don’t Tread on Me

            Don’t worry; whoever designed that left GM and is now designing naval power systems.

      • Wally

        Owned 2 Cummins wrapped in a Dodge Diaper!

        • oncemorearound


        • Evolve Today!

          The Cummins Diesel made my father’s truck awesome. The Truck had such issues with the fuel injectors. First time I have ever heard of that.

      • Sgtsnuffy


      • Gordo

        Strange. My 2003 Dodge Dakota has not been in the shop for anything other than routine maintenance since I bought it used in 2005.

      • Tom Claridge

        What does this have to do with that story? Chrysler and the Zumwalt are inn different galaxies? Focus people don’t just say something to be “just sayin”!

      • JustPlainFolks

        Should have bought a Ford. 9 out of 10 are still on the road… the rest made it home.

        • SolidBro

          But Dodges look great up on blocks in the front yard with the window sticker still on them.

      • Fiat had so many problems years ago that it withdrew from the U.S.

        It was not in good shade financially but it was allowed to buy Chrysler.

      • James Smeader

        And now it is ‘Fix It Again, Tony!’

      • Catman2

        I’m glad I’m not the only one who has been burned by dodge, not that misery likes company, my ’05 Dakota needed major work with only 74k and is rusting from under me. Oh, and numerous bugs that drive me crazy every time I turn the key. Remember when Obama forced GM to discontinue the Pontiac line? Dodge should have been the one. But then Obama is a screwup as well.

      • Bridgette

        The engineers at Chrysler during the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s would be ashamed of what’s coming out of their factories today.

        Meanwhile, my gasoline fueled 2006 Chevy 3/4 ton van was just sold with 620,000 miles on it – all original drivetrain, less u-joints, for $2,500. I gotta believe int he Lucas Oil.

      • Ronspruell

        You know I kind of hate saying this and I’m not superstitious but I’ve driven my Chrysler Town & Country van for 65000 miles and have enjoyed a trouble free drive so far. I bought the van because my youngest son is in the Navy and they have moved a couple of times. Right now his son and wife are in St Marys Georgia and he’s in California. I live in Hueytown Alabama so you can see why I bought this van. I did however get the transmission pan dropped and the filter changed and fluid changed at 55000 miles since I read that their transmission had problems. Mine is the six speed transmission and I’m telling you that made a huge difference in shifting. I do believe I should have had this done at 40000 miles. Anyway it’s been great on trips. I love the extra storage this van has under the seats when the seats are up. You can pack a lot of clothes and other things in that space. Then when you have all the seats stored well there is a huge amount of cargo space. I’ve noticed they’ve stopped the town and country and started a new line. You know I bought a van, a van should look like a van with as much head room as practically possible but that new van appears that it doesn’t have any head room at all. My wife can get to any child any where in this Town and Country van and we are both retired. I can’t because of arthritis but she sure can. That’s why we bought that van to get the grand children loaded in and go and we’ve done that. It has two video systems two DVD players headphones so someone can watch one movie while another can watch another movie. What I don’t like us the passage in the front seat can’t watch a movie because they made it so the front screen won’t play a movie if it’s in drive. Nor can you change anything in the GPS unless you park on the side of the interstate. That’s a lot more dangerous than the passenger being able to change the GPS going down the road. I don’t like the looks of their new van and wouldn’t buy it but this one I really love it’s done what we intended for it to do. By the way I haven’t had to change the break pads yet at 65000 miles yet but I thought I heard one of the pointers squeaking rubbing the rotor the other morning so we are planning on it soon. I just love this van

    • Roberto Lea

      Next time I scrape the freeway median, I’ll call it that too.

    • GoldenBoys

      That triples the cost of repair!

    • Paul Gullo

      Lol, me too!!

    • Spawn_of_Santa

      8 years at sea, I always have.

  • Achi

    They don’t make them like they used to. Back in the good old days, if you needed you could patch a sail on the fly.

  • rawheadrex

    It probably just sailed beyond the length of its extension cord, If it is typical of current thinking.

  • Matthew Schilling

    There’s a small crew on that very big ship. I hope extra thought and training has gone into keeping it from being boarded.

  • Holy mackerel! A row boat with a pea shooter might actually be more threatening than a multi-billion dollar ship that doesn’t work.

    • siempre44

      The hull on the Zumwalt is so thin, a row boat with a pea shooter can actually sink the Zumwalt.

  • Fattoast

    Billion dollar pos

    • Austin

      Try $7.5 Billion per ship — including R&D — in this three-ship class. Totally absurd. Two of these equal the cost of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. THAT’s just how much this has gone off into the weeds, and that’s why it’s a three-ship class.

      • Originally there were to be 28 of them, I believe.

        • coolit10

          There should have been none. Numbers will generally out do technology. Ask Hitler. We won’t know what enemy we will face so what are building these ‘elite’ machines for. We just need to be generically battle ready with proven stuff and lots of it. Production will be cheaper, parts will be available, and folks will know how to fix them

          • Horn

            With thinking like that we would have lost the Cold War.

  • MysteryMan

    Sounds like a couple of main bearings are trashed by seawater contaminated lube oil. They won’t be fixing it in Panama … they will be towing it to San Diego. They will wait for the hoopla to die down … then it will be quietly towed to prevent yet another embarrassing break down.

    • Littlebluepill

      It will be a long tow back to BIW in Maine.

  • chicken soup

    Symbolic of the Obama Administration defense strategy.

    • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

      You are possibly wrong to assume there has been a “strategy” for the past 8 years.

      • chicken soup

        Haha, silly me. :-p

      • coolit10

        Destroying our country is an enemy strategy.

    • Horn

      Do you honestly believe that Obama controls what ships the Navy builds?

      • chicken soup

        No, I don’t. That’s why I said “symbolic”.

        • Horn

          LOL, touche.

      • Bruce1369

        In a way, yes. Look at his followers…

      • coolit10

        Do you honestly believe after all his failed “subsidies” that he doesn’t? Bio fuel for the military is stupid. Putting women in subs is stupid. The list is endless of the charades we have been asked pay for. Where did the trillions go? The Potomac 2 step. Screw up bad and get promoted and let the next jerk fix it, and on and on.

  • Temp Fourthirty

    Just scuttle the butt ugly thing.

  • Teabone Bones

    We used to be able to build ships that were capable of getting from point A to point B.

    • old guy


      • Teabone Bones

        Just an observation.

      • Teabone Bones

        Just a historical observation on our naval ships and their reliability in service. Naval ships being able to function reliably would seem to be a somewhat important factor in naval operations, particularly as we scale down the number of operational ships.

  • old guy

    Ol’ Flopover (DD1000) joins “HUNK-A-JUNK” (LCS) as the two worst snip designs in modern history.

  • oncemorearound

    Built by General Bail-out Bankrupt Motors ?

    • That’s Government Motors. General Motors went bankrupt and died.

  • siempre44

    The absurdity of the Zumwalt costing 4.4 BILLION DOLLAR for a destroyer is only matched by the disclosure that the Zumwalt has a cannon that costs $800,000 per cannon round.
    The Air Force has the F-35 which is 170 MIllion dollar per aircraft ground attack plane.
    Heads need to roll and sanity needs to be brought to military acquisition.

    • SoNic67

      F-35 is not even close in complexity level. And is useless by itself.

      • bobcannon

        Odd how these new over-budget, over-deadline, under-performing things are approved. It’s almost like they were trying to waste as much money as possible with the worst possible outcome while making it look like you’re trying to spend for a strong military. #ImamObama

    • slobotnavich

      Interesting how military toys continue to escalate wildly in price. The final acquisition price for the P-51 in WW II was $50K per unit, perhaps about a million bucks in today’s dollars. Of course, a huge part of the “problem” is that the engineering and development costs are now spread across a very small number of individual units, which raises the per-unit development costs hugely. Production runs of US Army and Navy fighters typically ran into the tens of thousands during WW II. Now they run in the hundreds, or even dozens, which causes the individual unit costs to skyrocket upward. Of course the flip-side of this seemingly dismal reality is that today’s weapons systems can inflict infinitely greater damage on an enemy than could the fighters and bombers of sixty years ago. Had we had today’s cruise missiles and aircraft back then we could have crippled Germany and Japan’s entire war-making capability in a single afternoon by destroying a few choke-points throughout their war industries, even given the Germans’ and Japanese largely effective efforts at dispersing them. We lost the Vietnam War largely because we did not allow ourselves access to North Vietnamese supply sources, eg, the USSR and Red China. Obviously, that could have started WW III, something our leadership at the time was reluctant (thankfully) to do.

      • Horn

        Mustang would cost $685k in 2016 dollars. The main difference when comparing vintage and legacy hardware is that a large majority of it was mass produced on a scale never before seen by today’s generation. You nailed it on the head perfectly.

        • slobotnavich

          After VJ day tens of thousands of aircraft right off the production line were flown straight to the boneyard or even sold directly to the public. If memory serves, price for a brand-new, fresh from the factory P-51 was $1,500. Airshow pilots often bought them and when they ran the engines out to TBO (or less) simply parked them on whatever airfield they were on and abandoned them. When I was but a wee lad in the late Forties I remember seeing many ex-Army Air Corps or Navy fighters cavorting about in local airshows, which were common, given the great number of former military pilots and the ready availability of surplus aircraft. Now, if you can find a P-51 for sale, I’ve seen people asking upwards of a million bucks for one in flyable condition. As an aside, whilst I was a service rep for Ford throughout Latin America I routinely saw P-51s flown by the Guatemalan air-force and old F4-U Corsairs flown by the Hondurans. Almost perversely, these two nations tangled in what came to be called the Chaco War over the outcome of the Central American soccer championship (I forget who won). The war was called a draw when both sides finally ran out of ammunition and apparently felt that their national honor had been upheld. From what I heard, the Honduran Corsairs got the better of the Mustangs, in what I believe was the last instance of piston fighters engaging one another in warfare.

          • WilliePhD

            I believe the Chaco war was Paraguay v. Bolivia – but your point well taken. Cheers.

          • SolidBro

            Actually, there were better deals than that. Crated, unassembled P-51Ds were sold for as low as $1 (one dollar). Of course you had to ship the crates to your hangar and assemble the pieces yourself. One of my roommate’s uncle got one of these crate P-51s in 1947 or ’48 for $1 – it took him six years in his spare time to assemble it – and tens of grand to pay for certified mechanics to do some of the engine work and get the thing flightworthy – but he was still flying that P-51 in the 1980s. Cost him about $1,000 an hour of flight time though. He was a commodities trader and had his own trading firm on the Chicago Merc, so by then money wasn’t a problem for him.

            One of the first ‘kit airplanes’ I suppose.

          • slobotnavich

            Interesting – didn’t know of that remarkable deal. I’d imagine that most of them so purchased never made to final assembly, whatever the eager intentions of the purchasers.

          • slobotnavich

            Interesting commentary, though I’d have gladly paid the $1,500 to get one fully assembled and in flyable condition. My favorite all-time airplane was the Aerostar, which could haul the whole family about far faster than could any commercial airliner on trips of less than 1,000 NM, after factoring in the trip-time to the airport, the need to be there an hour before departure, etc. Our kids never once flew commercially until they left home. Last I heard our old Aerostar was in Hawaii and had been refitted with a pair of Rotax engines.

      • Bruce1369

        Bull. We lost Vietnam because of the “American” media.

        • slobotnavich

          Well, the SOBs surely didn’t help. But as long as we allowed the NVA and local VC (most of the latter of whom we quickly killed off) enjoy sanctuaries in Laos and Cambodia, the war was all but impossible to conclude in any reasonable time-frame. Plus, South Vietnam had a long, long jungle-shrouded border with both Laos and Cambodia, through which troops and supplies could pour at will. Asians in general are very patient people who think in terms of decades and even generations. Euro-whites think in terms of months and years. We never lost a major battle there – conversely, they never won one. I spent two years in-country during the height of that conflict, the first tour as a rifle platoon leader and company XO, the second with the MACV-SOG operation of the 5th Special Forces Gp. Following my first trip over I was convinced that our enemy’d throw in the towel fairly shortly. It seemed that we were killing them faster than they could replace them. By the end of my second tour I was having second thoughts. Asians in general are very patient people, and I suspect they knew that if they just outlasted us we’d finally throw in the towel and just go home. And that’s exactly what happened. We finally lost the war without ever having lost a major battle, though we did take a few minor thumpings here and there. The oddity of that war was how grossly we underestimated our enemy. I remember before the war really got going a regimental sergeant major voicing the opinion that, “One American infantry battalion’d go through that place like wildfire, clean it up in a month!” His was a fairly common opinion, believing apparently that the superior white race would quickly subdue any bunch of rice and raw-fish eating Asiatics. As for the French experience, the Frogs were dismissed as little more than a nation of limp-wristed “surrender monkeys,” despite the reality that the French Foreign Legion consisted of the most murderous cut-throats in military history and was finally run out of Vietnam after its defeat at Dien Bien Phu.

          Douglas MacArthur once advised (as I recall) Harry Truman: “Don’t ever get bogged down in a land war in Asia.” Ironically, it was old Doug who finally got the call to save the day in Korea.

          • Bruce1369

            When the NVA were defeated on the Tet Offensive, General Giap, in his memoirs said they had been defeated and were waiting to sue for peace and surrender. The surrender-monkeys in America had convinced the American people “the war is all but un-winnable.” Remember who that was?

          • slobotnavich

            I have no knowledge of Giap’s thoughts or intentions. There’s no doubt that the TET offensive of ’68 (I was there at the time) gave the NVA a terrific thumping; it took them a couple of years for them to make up their losses. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese, like all Asians, are patient people – they knew we’d eventually tire of the war and go home. TET ’68 did far more to erode domestic support for the war than it did to discourage our Army and Marine Corps, both of whom viewed TET as a disastrous defeat for the enemy. But all our enemy had to do was to maintain the conflict at a low level of intensity and we’d finally tire of our little adventure and go home. And we did. And in the final extreme they were backed by over a billion Chinese. Much of our activity in that conflict was directly affected by our fear of arousing the Chinese and the Russians, both of whom were providing battlefield advisers to the NVA. I can think of two instances in which our SOG teams killed Russian and Chinese military personnel acting as advisers to the NVA. The Russian was blond and blue-eyed, the Chinese adviser had documents on him identifying him as military adviser, or at least an observer.

          • slobotnavich

            As I recall it was that slack-jawed dolt George McGovern, arguably the foremost a-hole of his time.

          • Bruce1369

            Wrong. Walter Cronkite.

          • bobcannon

            Correct. “The most trusted man in America” was a lib propagandist. Got a lot of men killed IMHO.

        • bobcannon

          Libs write the history books and control the “news”. Even when we win we lose. News = public perception = reality. Diabolical propagandists.

      • SolidBro

        How many P-51Ds would it take to defeat a pair of F-16s?

        How many to intercept a B-1B bomber?

        Game. Set. Match.

        Guppies and barracudas – not comparable in any way

        Also, the most important air asset in war is the pool of EXPERIENCED pilots/aircrew. Going cheap on aircraft will rapidly deplete the bottleneck – the pool of pilots who have air combat experience and survived it several times or more. That is why quality always trumps quantity in modern air warfare. Germany and Japan had their air power collapse principally because they were out of trained pilots. That’s why the Japanese had to resort to kamikaze attacks – they had no chance to obtain even a local air superiority if they massed all their forces because their pilots were all rookies after Midway – as shown by the Turkey Shoot (appropriate for Thanksgiving).

        • Refguy

          As you allude to, no radar and no titanium in P-51’s

  • Rhonie Briley

    BIW, not good for the OC.

  • oncemorearound

    You can use my 6hp Merc to get it back. Oh wait you’ll need a long shaft. Sorry, my mistake.

    • Oh, we’re getting the long shaft, all right.

    • jaz

      That’s what she said.

  • parum imperium

    Lol..” “engineering casualty”…. um, no….it’s actually a leak.

    • Benn Eaton

      A bit like the Army calling a parachute drop a “vertical Insertion”.

  • Dustoff

    OUCH… I wonder what this is going to cost and who pays?

    • oncemorearound

      Go look in the mirror…. There’s no warranty on this krap.

      • Dustoff

        I looked and saw you. Now what.

        • oncemorearound

          WE’RE (The Tax Payers) are paying the bill.

  • Captain Reynault

    Perhaps President Trump will start firing the responsible leaders, not just those in charge now but also those who’s decisions and mismanagement earlier in the program led to this debacle. This program is an inexcusable money hole.

    • Deplorable Jon

      Military officers included

      • Captain Reynault

        Absolutely. The old two-step is “do whatever you have to do to keep the program funded because you will have been transferred and promoted before the chickens come home to roost.”

    • Scott Shannon

      Just like Washington.

  • bigcrawfish

    Too many breakdowns, and these breakdowns have left the ship dead in the water and an easy target any navy on earth. Get the dam thing fixed please!!

  • 61manres

    Maybe they should send the Constitution down to tow it back

  • M1Garand

    I wonder what an engineering casualty is? I’m an engineer, and it has always been the case that something is a scientific achievement or an engineering failure. In this instance, I’m betting that it was total failure of the propulsion system due to inadequate testing during sea trials.

  • Arthur

    The real issue is why is the American tax payer on the hook for a POS ship? Should not the maker of this vessel be the ones that should have to repair this under warranty or did the US Government fail to purchase the warranty here?

    • Littlebluepill

      Hopefully the Navy got a full warranty from Bath Iron Works.

      • oncemorearound

        LOL……. Warranty. No where in the contract that word is ever found.

    • wieceu

      They issues a fading light warranty. As the running lights fade off in the distance so does the warranty,

  • Matthew Dale Papke

    Only $22,000,000,000 – man how will the lobbyists live off of that? Gonna be a meager Christmas

  • Roland

    Looks a bit like The U.S.S. Merrimac.

  • Freedom

    What happened to the beautiful destroyers and battleships that did work….
    Only needed upgrade….K.A. machines that got the job done and then some.

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    A navy increasingly unfit for the one job that navys are supposed to do.

  • Trivium

    Can’t we build anything right…………….

    • Fire them.

      Not as long as officers get payoff gigs at defense contractors.

  • 6foot8

    These new engineering plants are proving to be Navy career killers. Especially the new “Littoral class” ship

  • the great kazoo

    They should have diverted the impulse engines thru the dilithium crystals.
    That works every time.

    • Big-Stu

      I’m doing the best I can captain, but I canna raise the dead!

    • muzzleloader

      Don’t know if that would work with trend warp drive!

  • stevenskane

    The big defense contractors are being paid billions for high tech ships, planes and other weapons systems. Perhaps President Trump will demand that these huge expenditures pay off for the American people by resulting in on-time, within budget completion and systems that actually work as specified. Is this too much to ask?

  • Inanimate Carbon Rods

    But…..but…..but….this was supposed to happen to the Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.

  • Fire them.

    Scrap the program before the LBJ is built.

    This ship is what you get with lobbyists running wild and 0-6’s and up angling for post-career payoffs at GD, Lockmart and the rest. These people do as much damage to the country as the Clintons.

    We need a DoD “lemon law” where contractors have to accept returns of defective product and the taxpayers get a full and complete refund.

    All the mergers in the MIC have given us sole-sources for most platforms. Zero competition = license to produce [email protected]

  • oncemorearound

    Probably should fit “Old Ironside” with a few electronics, sail her out of Boston Harbor, and put her back into service….

  • oncemorearound

    I smell a DOT recall…. Check the Tanaka shrapnel airbags while your at it.

  • Big-Stu

    Never buy the first of anything.

  • Warlock Reginald G. Lawson

    We didn’t spend enough on it.

  • VillageViking

    Obama’s military record continues with yet another Fail!

  • Sailordude

    Trump will fix it.

  • gord

    This ship is jinxed……………..never sail on Friday

  • Jayhawk46

    Thank goodness it’s not nuclear propelled.
    They need to stop making them so dang complicated.

  • Dee Gee

    The Zumwalt should be equipped with rail guns as main guns, they need
    megawatts of electric energy to shoot the projectile double speed/ double
    distance of conventional guns. Let’s keep fingers crossed that all works
    as it should.

  • Kent San

    Another POS brought to you by General Dynamics and Bath Iron Works. I understand they are incapable of building ships of two classes at the same time up there, so it’s back to DDGs for now.

  • Red_State_Eddie

    On the bright side, it will make one beautiful barrier reef after a $100 pipe bomb drops it to the ocean floor.

  • Kuznetsov has fewer problems ….

  • Jason

    If we can just get our enemies to take a time-out during war time to fix our ships… we’ll be alright.

  • Jason

    One small nuclear tipped missile or torpedo and the ship is literally toast (and any nearby ships). Surface ships will last about 45 minutes in the next major war and are essentially obsolete.

    • Mohammed_Goldberg

      The Navy only has 3 things. 1 – Targets that sit on land, 2 – Targets that float on water, and 3 – Submarines !

    • George Smith

      Obsolete in a major war? Nearly true. However we are rarely involved in a major war, and in the meantime the navy serves a purpose.

  • Jeff Locke

    They need a better stuffing box.

  • James Wold

    Maybe it’s time to look at going back to boiler plants and Diesel powered ships.

    • SolidBro


  • Doc3

    Sounds like the Walrus that went to the Tupperware Party looking for a tight Seal.

  • Muzzlehatch

    And we make fun of the Russian carrier that is accompanied by a tugboat.

  • innertrader

    Gee, it’s taking longer to build this ship than all of WWII !

  • Navy_Vet

    Saw the same crap when the Navy built the “FFxxxx” frigates with an aluminum superstructure and a single screw. The USS Patterson, FF1061 was a real piece of crap. More that once it was sitting dead in the water, or had frequent equipment failures.

    • Fire them.

      Bath and Ingalls need legitimate competition.

      Both get fed pork regularly by their heavily lobbied Representatives and Senators (along with the relevant committee members)

      Take the repair costs out of their salaries and pensions.

      Ban all lobbyists involved for 25 years.

      Their wallets are the only thing they care about.

  • Michael K

    Actually,the ship’s engineer has the flu.

  • Mike Van Horn

    Our new, high tech ship is being repaired at a facility controlled by China? (Hutchison Whampoa Limited)

  • Western

    Well, spirit of Zumi, this is what you get for changing the Navy bell bottoms to that polyester suit.

  • Crapkiller

    The more complex, the sooner dead.

  • MyWikiDisQus

    Why didn’t the crew just run out the sweeps or hoist the main sail like in the movies?

  • rwendling70

    Interesting to me. I was on board AK45 decades ago transiting the Canal when our 25-year old ship also was an “engineering casualty.” A difference of mere Billions.

  • Joe Sixpak

    Obama’s ship broke down in the Canal that Jimmy Carter gave away…

    • MLepay

      How is it President Obama’s ship? It was started in early 2000’s as DD-21/DD(x) program and funded in 2005?

  • Attilathehun

    Wonder why American’s voted for Trump? Just think of this. Because of corrupt military contracts created by corrupt politicians, lobbyists, and contractors, we now have a 30 billion dollar ship that can’t afford to shoot or even inventory it’s 30 million dollar electronically guided ammunition. And the Navy didn’t want it. Is it any wonder we want to “Drain the Swamp”. Go Trump.

  • Niteworm

    What I find interesting is this. We told the world there was a problem with our newest greatest stealth drone navigation communications. Then, the Iranians poked around and proved it by stealing one. Now we have a top secret vessel laid up in the Panama Canal. You can Google who runs the ports on each end of the canal. China.

  • LastBoomer

    since we likely overpaid for this vessel…What’s the warranty on these billion dollar ships?

  • Minimum

    What good is all these nice new ships if none of them will run?
    God forbid any of them suffer combat damage.

  • normsrevenge

    They just don’t build em like they used to.

  • Libssuck

    Just pathetic!

  • NoMoreMrNiceGuy

    Propulsion shafts bearing are not rocket science. They act like this is the first shaft bearing ever used. It is an embarrassment and the contractor should be fined.

  • Go Zumwalt, go!

  • gene

    I guess Bath Ironwork’s ISO-9000 certification didn’t help things. this points to a major quality issue-who signed off on acceptance of this ship?

  • Kimbell

    I thought the engineer was Injured or a Casualty……Damn that Common Core Education, now they are changing the meaning of descriptive Words…….I guess we all better get used to it?????

  • Citizen Quasar

    Somewhere ca$h registers ring.

  • Sgtsnuffy


  • phil

    oh well, have not had any engeneering issues on my two fords, 99 crown vic and a 01 F150 4X4, total of 460k miles and still working well. BTW, I do my own maintenance.

  • Spike

    They should halt work on the other two ships until they get all the problems with this ship figured out. This is freaking pathetic.

  • ali_Shabazz_Kingfish_Stevens

    “Engineering Casualty”??? WTF. Is that “Snowflake” talk for “mechanical failure” or simply “it broke down”? J.H. Christ almighty.

    I think some of the problem might be with the person who ordered the repairs and released the statement. Vice Admiral NORA Tyson.

    Wonder what she calls tampons. “Field expedient asymmetric flow stanching devices”?

  • Screaming Lord Byron

    China runs the Panama Canal now. Don’t think they don’t have spy equipment in place for US Navy ships traversing the Canal.

    • Fire them.

      You betcha.

      Thr signature of the DDG100x has been METICULOUSLY defined, thanks to close proximity measurements from all angles.

      It’s “stealth” value just dropped 98%

      Maybe GD will propose billion dollar “stealth tugs” to haul the unreliable carcass around.

  • Citizen Quasar

    Somewhere ca$h registers ring.

  • Jim Southerland

    There is just a certain level of technology beyond which the government is not competent to transcend. Have they finished the obamacare web site yet? NO, it is too complex for the third tier quality of government employees to understand or master.

  • Has there ever before in US Navy history been such a spate of shipbuilding disasters? Regardless of the cause, the result will be sunken ships and dead sailors when the war comes (notice I did not say “if”). I just hope that the new CINC says those two words for which he is famous: “You’re Fired!” until the Navy gets this right.

    • Danny Bradshaw

      So ture but apparently trucks seem to be more important. I give you a thumbs up.
      My family are sorry were all sailers and this should scare everyone in all the branches of service
      God bless the U.S.

  • Fred762

    Wot? The USS Barry Soetero? ROFLOL

    • Mohammed_Goldberg

      USS Barry Soetero will look like a floating out house with the star in the crescent moon on the bow.

      • SolidBro

        A NYC garbage scow run by the Sanitation Dept.

  • Danny Bradshaw

    I love the way this goes from a broken down boat to broken down trucks my 2003 Ford ranger hasn’t needed anything but oil and tires but won’t float

  • The_REAL_grumpy_Dave

    Looks like the ship if following in the the steps of its namesake Uncle ZOOMIE!

  • Brutus974

    “Floating” probably wasn’t listed as a “key performance parameter.”

    • Fire them.

      “bouyancy casualty” is how they’ll splain it.

      Maybe a five-year time-out for BIW would get the message through.

    • WilliePhD

      Nicely played sir

  • Aiiyiiyiii

    Hmmmm. I’m beginning to understand the stealth thing. The enemy will never see it coming when it doesn’t leave the dock.

  • Count_Yob

    At $22 billion this has to be the most expensive lemon ever!

  • Deplorable Patriot

    look how difficult it is to field (1) ship. how would the US ever win another war

  • sferrin

    Holy Christ the troll parade is out in force today.

  • Helvetici

    This is typical of the quality of products designed and constructed during the Obama Debacle (also known as the Fake Presidency from 2009 – 2017). Best to decommission the snake-bitten Zumwalt, and use the learning mechanisms to make good ships in the future.

    • MLepay

      Please explain how it is President Obama’s fault when the program started in the very early 2000’s as the DD-21/DD(x) program and was funded in around 2005?

  • LightningJack

    Why doesn’t the US Navy invoke the Lemon Law and give Bath Iron Works back this overpriced tug “demo reel” training scow before it becomes a one-man submarine? Hard to be stealthy, or sneak up on an adversary when you have a fleet of service tugs trailing behind with a Home Improvement ‘leak stop” service barge in tow.

    Yeah, what’s $22 billion and a few major breakdowns when you can sail on cutting edge technology where all your major propulsion reliability problems are below the water line. No, this ain’t your daddy’s navy, and the “USS Leaky Tiki” class dock patios may end up as happy hour cocktail barges for the Commodore of the Bermuda Yacht Club.

    • minutemanIII

      Because you obviously have no idea what you are talking about. The AIM motor was not manufactured at biw.
      But hey carry on with your ignorance.

  • Arbitrary turn-back cmd

    first in a line. all new stuff never before used together. expect a lot more failures. like taking the first hover car out for a world tour.

    • SolidBro

      Yeah, and here we are 60-some years after the hovercars were predicted to be in everybody’s garage as we all flew to work by the 1950s.

      Just a few more bugs to iron out, right?

  • LukeJohn

    Since when does a vessel “suffer a casualty?” – Machines have breakdowns, mechanical problems, etc. A “casualty” implies that someone was injured.

  • reed1v

    Nice to see the saboteurs are still at work at BIW. First it was the sub that was destroyed at the Naval Yard in New Hampshire(kind of hard to do unless you really know what you are doing); and now a leaking, sinking mega billion dollar ship. Wonder which country is behind these highly improbably disasters?

    • SolidBro

      The shipyards and the shipyard unions. The more breakdowns means more repair work for them.

      It’s like the litigation biz. If your client has a very strong case, you’d actually prefer to lose at the district court level as long as you have an excellent chance on appeal to have the verdict vacated and a new (second) trial at the district court level. That way instead of just getting paid for one successful district court trial – you can bill for two trials and an appeal and stretch out the income over many years, stabilizing your finances by buffering with such long-lived cases.

  • Lojar

    While I find all the engineering chatter interesting and informative (not sarcastic, serious) I would interject that this is all an experiment rather than a vessel destined for combat or sustained service, a test bed as it were. That would pretty much have to be the case since aside from the engineering problems, the ammunition for the main gun is prohibitively expensive and the “procurement” and R & D folks are going to have to come up with new ammunition (there is some available but only a fraction of the effectiveness) or a new or newly designed gun before the ship can be “operational”. It does in fact look impressive and futuristic so possibly it can be used as a recruiting tool. Research and Development as well as procurement waited until there was a tested, proven product BEFORE purchase when I served these many years ago…ahhhh progress!

  • Mystick

    This design breaks down so often during normal sailing, in such a way as to disable the ship, how will it handle under the stresses of combat? Not looking good.

    • SolidBro

      You don’t seriously think the uber-CYA clowns of the Admiralty will ever put this $7+ billion dollar tub anywhere near combat and risk its loss, do you?

      Heck no – just like carriers than need massive screening task groups to protect them, the Admirals won’t put this overpriced DeLorean anywhere except it’s well-protected and far away from combat.

      None of them want to be blamed and have their career ended by being the one to order the Zumwalt into harm’s way and having it sunk.

      • Mystick

        Well, this is technically a littoral ship, so screens won’t really work… if it just happens to be assigned to a “colder” theater…. well, sure… I agree.

  • CraxyD

    Sounds like this wants to be the F-35 of the sea

  • j James

    So the Chinese, which tun the canal now, thanks to Jimmy Carter, can have 10 days or more of up close “inspection.” This should of went around Argentina. The chances of it being part of an atlantic fleet in this day and age is nil.

  • Greg

    What good is a ship that cant go 6 months without a breakdown leaving it dead in the water? Who wants to go into combat with this thing?

    A $22 billion program for a handful of ships?!
    We could have built a whole fleet of destroyers & cruisers for what these things cost!

    Arent the ordinance rounds also extremely expensive too?
    Time to pull the plug.

    • minutemanIII

      It is simple minded thinking like your that helps create these issues.
      1/ even the Russians (known for their tanks) had their new t50 breakdown in red square during that parade. New things like these always have always will growing pains.
      2/ avrage cost per sailor is about $1 mil a year. Ddg51s have a crew of around 300 the ddg1000 has a crew of well under 200 so while you may see savings in construction cost the overall cost to operate the older class ships is much much more in the long term.

      3/ the plug has already been pulled at just 3 ships. Contrasting mass production of shells for the originally purposed 32 ships with just 3 is why they are no longer at a reasonable price.

      • SolidBro

        So, in other words, a really, really fux0red-up program. Again. Whatever savings in manpower costs THAT WERE PROJECTED are totally swamped by the immense cost (in NPV) for getting three tubs and a handful of projectiles for the goofy gun. Oh, and the COSTS of these repairs in current dollars.

        Projected savings always seem to not materialize in these whiz-bang tech programs – they are eaten up by current and near-term spending trying to get the damned things to actually work.

        Yep, FUBAR and there is no way this can be justified. No way.

        • minutemanIII

          The math does not lie. A crew of over 300 vs a crew of under 200 is savings right there. That’s $100 million per ship per year.
          Over the course of a 25 year span of the original 32 perposed ships you are looking at tens of billions in savings just for the crew size.
          And about going back to ddg51s. The yard that originally bid on the new generation ships now has the cost of re tooling. They don’t even make reduction gears for 51s any more so every new one is going to need a donor and to have their reduction gears rebuilt. On top of using equipment that is discontinued they are building baseline 9 51s that have their own growing pains with the upgrades from the flight 2As.
          And as far as repairs go some have been included in the program. This recent AIM motor issue looks like a vendor issue that will be covered by the manufacturer.

          • SolidBro

            Ummm … do some math – $22 BILLION for THREE ships, saving a future crew of 100 per ship personnel and training costs. Saving a total of 300 personnel slots.

            No way can you justify that, even if the average crew member costs $250,000/yr.

            Or 2.5 million year for that matter.

          • minutemanIII

            Again there was originally 32 perposed ships not 3. 22billion includes r&d and design that is a one time cost for 1 or 100 ships and will be used on most every future program.
            And with training, benefits and everything it is about $1million per sailor per year when you avrage out officers and enlisted. Avrage life span of ship at 25 years
            Roughly $100 million savings per year X 32 ships X 25 years. About $80 billion in savings.
            Oh and the lcs only had firepower issues when the ddg1000 got cancled. The whole logic of the littoral combat ship was thrown out the window when the zumalt got cancled.

          • SolidBro

            You’re still missing the point. PROPOSED never comes to be. So don’t design based on PROJECTED manpower savings. That never occurs in modern times. When has a procurement program ever bought the originally projected number of planes/ships at the originally projected all-in costs?

            Virtually never.

            It is IRRELEVANT what was PROJECTED. I can project any number I want and stretch it over any number of units to make my case – but that is never reality. Quit using imaginary numbers! Learn the difference between insanely PROJECTED and REALITY. Sadly, we must live in the real world, and not in Admirals’ pipe dreams and hype/BS/malarkey/salesmanship.

          • minutemanIII

            You have no idea what I am talking about do you.
            The pipe dream was congress thinking they could save money by pulling out of deals the navy already committed to.
            The ddg51 will still need to be replaced eventually. And the tico’s will soon enough need replacing.
            The r & d of the zumalt will be untold value in those and every other navy surface combat program.

  • Walter Adams

    Lets see now; they have been making Thru-hull Shaft seals since when? 1830 – 1840?
    180 years?
    This is not a brand new problem that has never been addressed before.
    If the people building your ship can’t make a reliable thru hull seal, what other fundamental of ship building are they ignorant of?

  • Victor Charlie

    Blame the cap’n …

  • sadgurl55

    These new littoral combat ships are having endless problems. I hear the sailors working on these ships LOVE them because they spend so much time at the docks being repaired… meaning ENDLESS liberty.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    End the empire. Close the bases overseas and bring the troops home. Enough with the wars and military spending.

  • ehh

    I owned a 2003 Tundra, engine light came on after 24k miles. Dealer said it was the gas cap. Light came back on right after warranty ran out and stayed on for 10 years after that. When I sold it with 189k the engine light was still on. The dealer told me it needed 2 new catalytic converters for $1600 each plus 6 hours of labor. I told them I would push it off a cliff before I replaced those damn things. Now I’m driving a 2014 F-150.

    • SolidBro

      So you’re saying that because you were too lazy to replace the $60 oxygen sensor when the Check engine light came on as the warranty ran out, you are blaming Toyota for you poisoning the catalytic converters because you were too damned lazy/cheap to replace the O2 sensor.

      Wow – typical Ford/GM/Chrysler buyer. Learn how to maintain your vehicle and don’t ignore Check Engine lights.

      • ehh

        Changed two O2 sensors, 9 gas caps and gas tank filler tube assembly….light always came back on about 2 weeks after replacing parts.

      • ehh

        I live in NC and have to get my vehicle inspected every year. Every year it failed due to engine light. So at the recommendation of dealership and over the course of 11 years, I had the gas cap replaced 9 times, replaced the fuel filler neck assembly and had two O2 sensors replaced. This was not being lazy. The engine light came back on about two weeks after every repair. This was a known issue with 2003 tundras and the technical bulletins and dealer advice was to simply keep replacing parts until the ‘problem’ was ‘fixed’, or I went broke, which ever came first. I always maintained the truck per owners manual at recommended intervals.

  • BillyBob Baggins

    Letting the only person who could have possibly bested his legendary performance, Carter must have been psychic to allow the product of our current ‘legislative accident’ deal with anything involving the Chinese and military (any countries) in the same subject matter let alone sentence. When you the see the same serial number and mod on all the parts made subsequently, then you will see what a bad mistake giving up the canal really was.
    Along that line of thought, we have eight years of upper crust leadersheep to contend with, as the criteria for any leadership (Uniform or Civilian) at the top of the DoD processes has been changed to accommodate the current CIC. All of the services now have an eight year loading of personnel who may not be were they are without the thought processes of the CIC and accompanying minions.
    Hope the Zumwalt is a one off line item and will not be indicative of the rest of those programs that have been influenced by the swamp it has been created in…

  • Big Sheepdog CCW

    So much for modern technology. Nothing like steam powered turbines, they even worked with nuclear power. How’d you like to be on this ship in the middle of a battle? Give me the USS IOWA or WISCONSIN battleship anytime.

  • Tom Hughes

    ‘Casualty’. That seems like a poor word choice to me, but hey, I’m just a regular guy. Up to me they’d all be called ‘boats’. When they broke down, they’d be ‘broken down boats’.

  • EngelsMarx1848

    Turbine to generator to electric motor, hmmm ,that’s a long way to go for a leak of water.
    I understand the guns shells are $900,000 per round and magazines can’t load any other shell and software only directs fire to fixed targets.

  • EngelsMarx1848

    I thought direct power from jet turbine to shaft is more efficient with fewer systems to blow.

  • EngelsMarx1848

    Can’t Dalgren come up with 60 mile rifle of 8’to 10′ and moving target software.

  • EngelsMarx1848

    Come to think of it the Marines need an attack aircraft with similar characteristics as the A-10 warthog instead of a 60 /90 mile rifle .

  • Onebeersnotenough

    Are they sue this thing wasn’t built buy Ford, as in (Fix Or Repair Daily) ?

    • SolidBro

      Yes, it actually left the dock.

      • Onebeersnotenough


      • Onebeersnotenough

        Good point

  • Niggayahoo

    This High tech Confederate Ironclad Scow needs its own tag-a-long tug like Russia’s Admiral Smokey.

  • old guy

    I’m not sure why, but this thread is reminiscent of a conversation Will Rogers had with a cub reporter when Will was a Congressional reporter. The youngster said, “It sure exciting working with you and if I hear anything funny, I’ll tell you about it.”, To which Rogers retorted, Great, and if I hear anything serious, I’ll tell YOU about it.”

  • triggerfish

    This is not good news for the Skipper of this ship. It seems like this new class of ships may be suffering from the same jinx that the Combat Littoral Ships are having. The Skippers on those ships have been relieved of command because of ‘maintenance problems’.

  • {👁️v👁️}

    Vice Adm. Nora Tyson. Another Obama flunky. Lady doesn’t know a port hole from a butt hole.


    I think Trump better have a complete security check of the navy and it’s suppliers, top to bottom.
    There appears to be a team of sabatouers operating below the radar.
    Check for Muslim terrorists hired as minority required.

  • BuddyLuv

    I hope whoever took that picture of the cables doesn’t get sent to prison like the last guy not named Hillary Clinton.

  • Daniel Staggers

    For the bearings to blow it sounds like they hit something. These are the same type of systems the cruise industry uses and this doesn’t happen on it’s own. The tech is far too proven.

  • Derek Marlowe

    Our enemies are laughing themselves silly…

  • Tom Claridge

    When I was an officer in the military and Commanding officer of a Combat Engr.
    Unit the technical details of advanced equipment, how it worked and it’s short-
    comings was considered “classified” to be disclosed only on a need to know basis. Increasingly the Military as commanded by Barack Obama seems to have
    no secrets only everybody talking to anybody from the Sec. of State on down! What has this country come to?

    • SolidBro

      Shaft seal leaking is now classified? Wow.

  • Joe Miester

    Excuse me but what the f**k does pickup trucks have to do with a $22 Billion FUBAR development of a class of destroyers that can’t even make it 6000 miles to home port? This is MY tax dollars that are being wasted on crap engineering.

    • SolidBro

      Actually, it’s money borrowed from China. Your tax dollars are long spent on food stamps, debt service, and the White House electric bill before we get to the DoD procurement budget. All our ships are funded by bonds sold to China and some to Japan and Saudi Arabia, a bit to Europeans.

  • the worst money can buy..nothing but crap.

  • holly molly

    engineering casualty=shit

  • Justwalkingthru

    instead of building MANY tried and true destroyers, we have to go with the most technology… just more crap to go bad when steaming into harms way.. “The Enemy of Good Enough…is Better.”

    • John Locke

      By your logic we should just use canoes and spears

      • Justwalkingthru

        I suppose you wouldn’t consider a torpedo spar to the bow would you…maybe some striking gaffs to the side…(what a stupid comment sir!)

  • minutemanIII

    Winners never quit and quiters never win.
    There is so much ignorance here it is disgusting. Like everything else the first in class is always and will always going to have growing pains. Just look at the new Russian t50 tank that broke down in red square when it first rolled out. Now there is calls that we must do more upgrades to our own m1s to keep pace. Or the Russian brahmos missile. After its first 12 test launches it had a 1 in 5 chance of getting out of its tube. Then was a big to do that we needed to build our own new ASMs to keep up with that.

    Canceling the ddg1000 was a dumb move.
    Same critics that cancled the f22 for similar growing pains. Now they want to restart f22 production because the f35 is having similar issues the f22 had.

    • SolidBro

      And people who never win and never quit are known as idiots.

      • minutemanIII

        Same critics that cancled the f22 production. Now think they can start f22 production back up because the f35 is having the same growing pains the f22 had. Its a vicous circle of ignorance.

        • SolidBro

          The F-35 is a dog for many reasons, the principle one is trying to make a one-size-fits-all aircraft to do everything from air superiority to ground attack to V/STOL.

          That’s insanity in the modern age. The F-4II was a miserable dogfighter and air superiority aircraft. It was only made marginally workable when the -E model came out, and at that it was still a poor air-to-air performer, routinely getting waxed by the F-8 and even the lowly A-4 and F-104 in later (post-VN) DACT. The F-4II was really only useful as a fleet defense interceptor and a marginally useful tactical bomber.

          And let’s not even get into the F-111 debacle. Only when the Fighter Mafia (Boyd and Sprey) made dedicated air superiority designs (F-15, F-16) and dedicated ground attack/CAS design (A-10) did the US get top quality aircraft – that are still our backbone today, almost 50 years later.

          The Navy needs a fleet interceptor and ground attack/CAS aircraft. The Air Force needs dedicated air superiority, SEAD, ground attack, strategic bomber, and tactical bomber/attack aircraft.

          The Marines need a navalized, short-runway A-10 – perhaps catapult-launched on a small Marine-only escort carrier like the helicopter carriers plus a bit longer with cats – and capability to operate from rough ad hoc air strips – Marsden matting strips.

          One basic airframe cannot accomodate all these disparate requirements.

          Jack of all trades … master of none.

          • minutemanIII

            You did not have to provide an example of my point about critics.

  • 803 Mastiff

    My Hemi had an Engineering Casualty last week while passing though a sanctuary city. A flat bed tug was required for extraction. The Engineering Casualty was the result of a failed cam sensor. Parts are en route and repairs could require up to 10 days. A chrome plated 5 toe gas pedal upgrade will also be installed during this down period.

    • SolidBro

      May as well book an appointment for next month, when you’ll be back for a new transmission.

  • PhysicsBear

    How much of my check is withheld for this stillborn?

  • The_Usual_Suspect61

    Absolutely embarrassing that we produce and commission such garbage. I guess it is just following the the wake of the LCS. They better have another fleet tug assigned to permanent escort duty.

  • Noodle

    I saw this commercial on TV for some stuff called Flex Seal.

    They replaced the bottom of a boat with a screen door, painted it, and then went riding around in it.

    They should get a can of that stuff.

  • Jason Vickers

    I like the old nuke powered or diesel better. Screw this green energy crap. Go full steam. 22billion for a 9 billion dollar ship. Hope we can begin to fix this crap under Trump.

    • Bruiser in Houston

      Bring back the old Virginia class. Nuke powered cruisers. Make a few mods for helos and there you go.

      • John Locke

        Right, their RCS makes them stand out like a hooker in church. You have to build to the threat.

        • Bruiser in Houston

          All that bullbagels about “stealth” is just that. Put enough long range missiles, and an active antimissile system onboard, and stealth doesn’t matter. Also, cost. In today’s dollars for a CGN is 2.5 billion, not $22 bilion. Build a bunch. It isn’t like we’re suddenly retiring the Burke class… we’re still building them too.

          It’s like the F-35 POS. Build a shítload of F-14s for a fraction of the cost and overwhelm the enemy. Not 18s. The plastic bug is a POS too, compared to a B or D model Tomcat.

  • TheTruthBurns

    The US Military Proudly fielding all kinds of High Cost – High Tech Garbage that Cost Billions & doesn’t work worth a damn. The few – the broken – the US Miltary. Billions of Dollars of Junk!


    HOW FRIGGING AWKWARD IS THAT?……….We gotta do better…

  • Gershom Ben Dovid

    The “Zumwalt” is a floating PORK project that would probably never survive a real Naval Battle. Go back to what works!!! And just to think that the Congress might approve MORE of these floating tin cans that look almost exactly like the fabled and failed “Virginia Class” Vessels. If a ship of war cannot survive a CANAL it’s not going to survive a Shoal, a Reef or even a Tsunami or even a “rogue wave” Scrap it, build what we know works or at least update what we already have in the fleet. Unfortunately the military wants it’s “shiny new toys” at the expense of the taxpayer and man are we ever paying for OUT-OF-CONTROL Military spending!! How much more of OUR money are they going to ask for to fight threats that MIGHT exist? Write your Congressmen and DEMAND that the “Zumwalt” be retired immediately because it will NOT survive a conflict. (Also mentioning that Congress needs to CUT our military by at least 60% and BRING HOME ALL of the Troops engaged in Wars on behalf of a few, wealthy men and women who aren’t even US citizens!

  • Not good. China controls the canal now.

  • Anthony “stalker6recon”

    I am all for advancing our military, and I know there will always be bumps and hiccups to new systems. But for the primary feature of a surface ship, the ability to propel itself along the water to fail this much, should be embarrassing. This is not 1950, with the ability to design and test in the virtual world, or even do in scale, these issues should be worked out long before the ship hits the water. Given the nature of compartmentalized construction as well, this should be the last issue a ship faces. Having the propulsion tied to the powering of weapons systems, and not using an independent source, also seems to be a mistake. I am no expert in naval warfare, or ships, but this seems like a strange way to operate a ship of war. You would think that you would want as much independence from other systems as possible, with redundancy. I hope that is the case. When a ship is hit with an attack that knocks out propulsion, you would think that it would still be capable of defending itself. Sounds like this one has the two systems intertwined, I hope I am wrong.

  • James Smeader

    ‘Shake-down’ cruise?

  • mattlechner

    sounds vaguely reminiscent of a loose stuffing box in a regular diesel boat. Could be a normal “new boat” problem. Put lifelines on the deck before someone falls off please.

  • mattlechner

    maybe there is so much torque at the transfer point that the stuffing box heats up and seals at cruising speed, kind of like the Blackbird. They probably turned the engines off to go through the canal, the stuffing box cooled down and the metals shrank, and so then the seal failed and the stuffing box started leaking. who knows – plenty of torque means plenty of potential heat. heat means expansion. so when it cooled, it might have gotten loose. it’s a theory anyway. Probably not a big issue, probably not too hard to fix. Good that the engineers picked it up. However, the boat does need lifelines.

  • Joe Dokes

    BILLIONS for a lemon? It is high time we stop this massive waste of de facto WELFARE for the munitions and manufacturers of instruments of mass murder.

    If we are smart we will kill the project and spend the money on “EMP-PROOFING” our electrical grid system in the U.S.A.

  • GPC

    It’s the most advance (or retreat) ship, right?

  • GreginJax

    A fine example of union craftsmanship.

  • publius_maximus_III

    We have nothing to fear but the fear of fear itself.

  • Paul Gullo

    Sounds like they turned the screws into integral screwgerators to power the photon torpedos but Mr Scott is extra busy in engineering keeping her up and running.
    Guess the photo op is over

  • bobcannon

    Call me crazy, but like the new overpriced unreliable jets the Obama DOD commissioned, these things suck. This guy Fs up EVERYTHING he touches whether intentional or incompetence.

    • John Locke

      The contract award for the F-35 was October 2001 ………… during the Bush admin

  • Sold America

    Stop buying parts from China

  • charlie K

    “Updated: USS Zumwalt Sidelined in Panama Following New Engineering Casualty”

    USS Zumwalt a LCS writ large?

  • The Plague

    Seawater intrusion – again. Seems to be a common occurrence with surface ships these days. In fact, the vast majority of “engineering casualties” one could read about on this site seem to have been various forms of seawater intrusion into lube oil. Either there is one notorious supplier for all the failed parts involved that nobody takes action against, or these incidents are actually sabotage.

  • charlie K

    Why is it that most of the comments below are about cars?

  • datimes

    This is the entire point of sea trials. Identify problems and repair them.

  • Ivan Abrams

    Hard to believe that the designers of Zumwalt couldn’t manage to create a ship that’s driven by electric motors. Kids’ toys have been like this for years. Tugboats too. Diesel-electric locomotives have been the standard in the railroad industry for 75 years. Electric drive is not such a difficult concept to embrace.

    Or maybe the designers had trouble figuring out how to keep the shaft bearings and seals from leaking. That technology has been around for about 150 years, but maybe it’s not taught in engineering school anymore.

    But, what do I know? I was a USNR JAG, drove a desk–but it never leaked nor did I run it into a pier or onto a rock!

    • John Locke

      Right, you were a JAG not a mechanical engineer or marine architect

  • jon raitmon

    News! Obamaboat breaks down. Just one more Kayne, Kar-douche-ian day.

    • Susan Vue

      The transgender bathroom took the space where the backup systems were supposed to be.

    • John Locke

      You do know that the concept and initial funding for this class occurred during the Bush admin

  • Robert Hamrick

    Picture it flood your car alternator with sea water

  • Robert Hamrick

    Probably seels gave way for this to occur.

  • dave lacey

    Better add a sail locker for reliability.

  • I have been real critical when it comes to LRC’s and Zumwalt but I also remember the engineering mess when the Navy went from 600# to 1200# steam propulsion. It was so bad that the Navy established the 1200# Steam Improvement Program. It worked. US Sailors are the best in the world and with the right plan and assets they will work out the bugs and poor design features in both classes. All new ship classes have problems “teething problems”. What we should do is support the effort for improvement, suggests ideas to make things better, and wish our sailors and their ships well. Maybe it is the Thanksgiving Holiday or just maybe I have become too negative in the past eight years. It’s a new dawn, I hope, so let’s all get aboard and help our Navy get things right. Think positive. Happy Holiday “turkeys included”. MMCS(SW) USN Ret.

  • Barrysabum

    Well with the recent crop of millennials in the workforce, and the fact that the military is now basically a social experimentation platform, its no wonder our tech and our hardware don’t work!

    There is no amount of money that can help us if our people are borderline idiots. I’m not necessarily critiquing the military itself, but the labor force they are forced to deal with.

    • John Locke

      Those millennials also work in the military industrial complex

    • macsspl

      So glad you got to slip in your a “social experimentation ” comment. It’s not really relevant because the the NAVY doesn’t build these ships (corporations do). But otherwise a clever jab.

  • MLepay

    Not sue where folks are getting the stuffing tube problem from in some comments below. “the crew saw water intrusion in two of the four bearings that connect to Zumwalt’s port and starboard Advanced Induction Motors (AIMs) to the drive shafts” which sounds more like a problem with the lube oil coolers for the bearings again. it is normal to have teething problems for a new class of ship. I am absolutely amazed at the overall negativity in these comments sections, people need to get over it and try being a bit more positive about things. Not everything is a disaster because it does not work out the gate.

    • Exactly. It will get fixed. I was an army engineer and my brother a navy engineer (combined, 1974-1994). If you count my uncle from WWII, add another 30 years. So unless things have changed dramatically, bugs get fixed and the program goes on. The association that non-military people have – if it’s expensive it should not break – is bonkers. And about the civilian negativity, I guess that’s something that is here to stay, and not sure if there is a fix for that.

  • Rikki Tch Tch

    They will be at the pier until technicians from China can be flown in to effect the necessary repairs. Go Navy.

  • RobM1981

    The Kuznetov made a lot of smoke, but at least it succeeded in its transit.

    • John Locke

      She’s 26 years old. I would hope all her issues would be fixed by now.

  • gene

    A $2.7 billion White Elephant-maybe we can sell them to the Chinese? this takes war to a new level of absurdity-we can defeat ourselves by going bankrupt, buying increasingly expensive and useless “weapons”.

  • OTL

    Was it “Assembled in Mexico”, as virtually ALL the GM trucks and SUVs appear to be right now?

    I haven’t looked at new Fords for a while, but I’m told that this applies to many (most?) of them, too…

    But looping back to the original subject – the somewhat comedic Zumwalt:

    Unlike older designs, I have to say that it doesn’t instill any fear or sense of awe; the whole thing just looks bland and LEGO-like. It has a distinct “what is it supposed to be?” look about it.

    Well, at least we know it is definitely a Destroyer of Propulsion Systems.

  • jmoke

    And they should have named this lemon the USS O’Bama

    • macsspl


      • jmoke

        Yes it is, and now I will be removed by the commie left for this free speech message, I assure you.

  • charlie

    I wonder what the “plank owner” certificate for the Zumwalt looks like?

  • Jim

    I was in the Navy for 10 years I was engineer on 4 ships and a River patrol boat in Vietnam .
    A lot of that time was in ship yards. That makes me a part of the 1% of the men and Women that protect this country. Anyway ,the problem is that in the old days we had English speaking yard workers and parts made in the U.S.A.
    The budgets were flexible to insure a good job.
    The Sea triales were done with Factory experts and Qualified Navy personnel.
    Today NOT SO.
    We have Billon dollar ships breaking down due to poor parts made over seas, and budget cuts .Hopefully that will change in January.The Vice Admiral should be person with a lot of sea time with about 30 years experance .Not some desk jockey apointy by POTUS.
    That will change things.
    By the way to all the other 99% who are Dodge Truck owners,they are great trucks ,hard working but they should come with life time repairs warranty ,because you will need it

  • Middling

    Is the new powertrain so revolutionary that it has changed the physics of driving a ship with a propeller? a seawater leak in the propulsion motor drive lube oil auxiliary system for one of the ship’s shafts, Heck boats have been leaking water since boats were invented.

    Sounds like the quality at the Bath Iron Works needs help.

    I could be more understanding if there was an issue with the revolutionary new propulsion system, but reducing the leakage?

    • minutemanIII

      You do realize that biw did not build the AIM motor or the cooling system right. They install equipment the navy provides them through vendors such as rolls Royce, Raytheon, ect. There is a manufacturer in the south east that will determine the fault and provide the services for the AIM motor.

  • RobM1981

    This is the newest design in the fleet.

    It has been through R&D, builder’s trials, and a shakedown.

    The USN has commissioned it and have declared it Combat Ready… and it came into port at the end of a tow rope. As I commented earlier, if this happened to the Kuz, a 27 year old hull, we’d all laugh. It was pointed out, rightly, that old designs are proven.

    I agree, but… this is the USN. If we’re putting a ship into commission, it had better be USN reliable, not “accidents will happen” reliable. I don’t recall Nautilus being towed into port, and that was certainly as “revolutionary” as Zumwalt.

    We’re all adults here, and we all realize that engineering casualties are a way of life on a ship. The ocean is a hostile place. We train engineers specifically to address the obvious: stuff breaks, and you need trained people to fix it. Got it.

    But there are limits, and this is over the line. Between LCS and DDG1000, someone has to be held accountable. There is no combat damage here. Our fleet cannot routinely return to port at the end of a tow rope.

    When’s the last time a Burke was towed back? When is the last time a CVN was towed back? How often did Perry’s need to be towed in?


  • Cogito ergo sum….

    You know, sometimes we try to get too fancy with new technology.

    The gas turbines and reduction gears worked just fine. This is eerily similar to the catapults on the aircraft carrier that can’t launch schitt but cost the taxpayers plenty. It’s time to rethink the whole military-industrial paradigm.

    Defense Contractors have over promised and under delivered for decades. Start hitting their bottom line and I bet quality improves and the “good idea fairies” will go away.

  • Joel Miller

    This all happened under the idi0t President 0bama.

  • Spawn_of_Santa

    They sure don’t make warships like they used to.

    USS Hoel, DDG-13, 1986-1989.

  • Paul Alldredge

    New complex engineering equipment will take from a few months to a few years to debug. This ship and others in the Navy over the years have had to endure these kinds of repairs and mods. Stay the course and get this ship debugged and part of the fleet

  • Boy, ya skimp and buy one Chinese part…

  • Hugh

    Another failure —stopped dead in the water after exhaustive testing and $4.4 billion–Renamed –“Sitting Duck” –

  • Jim Valle

    Between 1917 and 1919 the British introduced the first modern DD’s, the V&W class ships. After serving for twenty years of peacetime cruising they were pressed into anti-submarine convoy and patrol work in the North Atlantic steaming countless thousands of miles in all weathers until the Germans called it quits in 1945. By this time their hull plates were so thin you could tap through them with a hammer and their turbine blades were reduced to nubs! Now that’s durability achieved by simplicity. It seems the Zumwalts represent the opposite philosophy.

  • AmPatriotSmith

    You guys are ridiculous! I’m a woman commenting on this. All you do is divert attention about the ship to cars. I guess you all are trying to make an anology here.

    I just hope that they are able to fix this problem and it seems to me that similar problems came up with the littoral combat ships. We don’t even know how this ship will be able to handle high seas with that hull design.

  • muzzleloader

    You know that the entire Naval community is sick and tired of talking about the problems of the LCS and Zumwalt when the entire thread turns into a forum about cars. lol

  • old guy

    OL’ Flopover” will continue in the news for decades. I am glad that I was one of the voices that led to cutting the quantity to the 3 hulls already laid.

  • Up in smoke industries

    They should have just called it a SNAFU………….This is normal for military stuff.

  • gearbox123

    Here’s a radical concept: How about using proven technology? You know – stuff that doesn’t break down or blow up when you need it most.

  • Randall

    Usually the Engine-room operator makes rounds and takes samples on the running machinery. I’m surprised they didn’t see seawater in the lube-oil before the casualty happened.

  • Ed L

    If the weather is go, let her go on one Shaft. but with an escort.

  • Uhccmsl

    Just returned from a Panama Canal cruise yesterday, December 5th and as of Saturday, Nov. 26, the USS Zumwalt is still at dock in Panama.

  • OldSalt


  • OldSalt

    When I was in the Navy I looked forward to the latest and greatest,
    this how ever i think will only be a continuing problem for the Zumwalt
    Class. After 36 years in the private sector working with large drive
    systems both AC and DC, I think they missed to boat (pun) on this one.
    Medium voltage AC drive systems have an inherent problem with eddy
    currents from the high frequency switching of the power devices which
    are difficult if not impossible to manage, couple this with a long prop
    shaft which acts like a RF transmission line and there goes the bearings
    and seals (experience here), I would bet the eddy currents can also be
    coupled to auxiliary equipment (Lube system).

    For an all electric ship I would have gone with

    1.) DC shaft motors, The torque/HP curve of a shunt wound DC motor is superior to an AC motor.

    2.) Four Quadrant Thyristor DC Drives, There is only one conversion AC to DC.
    An AC drive has to go from AC to DC then back to AC.

    3.) With a four quadrant DC drive, shafts can be reversed in seconds, better overall maneuverability of the ship.

    4.) Back up diesel DC generators to isolate ships propulsion during battle allowing the gas turbines to power ships weapons.

    Just an old salts 2 cents


    New ship, new technologies, shakedown cruise; I don’t really see the problem. I’m sure Navy folk could recount some mishaps from the past–you just couldn’t read about it on the internet back then.

  • Mike Bromley

    Love that term “engineering casualty”….