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Second Zumwalt Destroyer Needs New Engine After Turbine Blades Damaged in Sea Trials

Destroyer Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) underway during trials. BIW Photo

This post has been updated to include a statement from Rolls-Royce, and again to include a statement from Naval Sea Systems Command.

Zumwalt-class destroyer Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) will need to have a main turbine engine replaced before the ship can sail to San Diego for its combat system activation, after suffering damage to the turbine blades during acceptance trials, the Program Executive Officer for Ships told USNI News.

Rear Adm. William Galinis said today that Monsoor remained in Bath, Maine, for a post-delivery availability and that, “regrettably, coming off her acceptance trials we found a problem with one of the main turbine engines that drives one of the main generators; we’re having to change it out. So we’re working very closely with Bath Iron Works, with Rolls-Royce to get that engine changed out before she leaves Bath later this fall and sails to San Diego to start her combat system activation availability next year.”

After his remarks at a Navy League breakfast event, Galinis told USNI News that the MT30 marine gas turbine showed no signs of malfunctioning during the sea trials, but the damage was found in a post-trials inspection.

“The problem we had coming off of acceptance trials was actually the turbine blades – so think of a jet engine on the side of an airplane, the blades that you see – we actually had some dings, some damage to those turbine blades,” he said.
“We found that after the sea trial through what we call a borescope inspection, where we actually put a visual and optical device inside the turbine to kind of look at this. And we determined that it was best to change that turbine out before we actually transited the ship to San Diego.”

Monsoor completed acceptance trials in February, and the Navy accepted partial delivery of the ship in April. According to Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the damage was discovered in February during a post-cleaning inspection of the engine.

Galinis said part of the reason it has taken so long to replace the engine is that, with the MT30 being so large, a special rail system is needed to remove the engine and put in a new one. That system hadn’t yet been designed when the Navy realized it needed one, so engineers had to finish the design and then install the system.

“So that’s what’s taken us a little bit,” the rear admiral said.

Galinis said the Navy has already checked USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) and found no damage to its main turbine engine.

An MT30 in 2010. Rolls-Royce Photo

In the U.S., the $20-million Rolls-Royce MT30 is installed on not only the Zumwalt-class but also on the Navy’s Freedom-variant of Littoral Combat Ships. Internationally, the gas turbine –derived from Rolls’ Trent 800 aviation engine – is in use on the U.K. Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class carriers, the under-construction Royal Navy Type 26 frigate, the planned Daegu-class frigate for South Korea and the Italian Navy’s new Trieste amphibious warship.

The engine, introduced in 2001, can generate up to 40 megawatts of power and is the key to the Zumwalt-class’s Integrated Power System. The MT30s drive the destroyer’s massive electrical grid that drives everything from the ship’s sensors to a massive electric motor that drives the ship’s shafts.

“We’re working closely with the U.S. Navy and the team at Bath Iron Works to swap one of the two MT30 gas turbines on Michael Monsoor,” a spokesperson for Rolls-Royce told USNI News in a Tuesday statement. “Preparations are underway to swap the engine as quickly as possible to minimize downtime for the ship.”

Due to the unexpected damage to the blades, which have not been found elsewhere in the fleet, Galinis declined to speculate as to what or who was to blame for the issue.

“Until we get the engine out and actually get a chance to do a root-cause analysis, we really don’t know what caused the damage. What I will tell you is we ran the ship at full power and there was no indication of a problem while the ship was underway. We have vibration sensors on the engine to monitor for this type of thing, so even though the damage was there, it wasn’t to the level where we even saw anything on trials. And even, we had additional instrumentation on the engine during trials when we take a ship to sea for testing, and we didn’t see anything,” he said.

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

For now, because the engines are government-furnished equipment, the Navy will have to pay for the removal of the engine and the installation of the new one. If the problem turns out to be a Rolls-Royce manufacturing or quality assurance issue, the Navy could look to recoup that money from them.

According to NAVSEA spokesman Alan Baribeau, “removal and replacement of the engine is concurrently taking place with the ship’s planned Industrial Post-Delivery Availability at Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine. Despite the engine removal, Michael Monsoor is still expected to arrive in her San Diego homeport on schedule by December 2018.”

Michael Monsoor suffered another setback in December 2017, when a problem with the electrical system caused the destroyer to come back to Bath a day after leaving for sea trials. A harmonic filter, which prevents unintended power fluctuations from damaging sensitive equipment in complex electrical systems, failed. The ship was able to resume its sea trials after the electrical system was repaired.

Zumwalt suffered its share of engineering challenges as well, with several propulsion system failures during its transit from Maine to San Diego. The current MT30 problem, though, is unrelated to any other casualty the ship class has suffered to date.

As for the rest of the ship class, Galinis said in his talk that Zumwalt is nearing the end of its combat system activation availability. The destroyer is conducting its lightoff assessment this week and doing well so far, and was preparing to go back to sea by the end of August.

The third and final ship in the class, the future Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) remains on track at Bath and is set to launch by the end of the year, with sea trials occurring in 2019.

Sam LaGrone contributed to this report.

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    This is such a shame, we need those Advanced Gun Systems to start slinging LRLAPs ASAP…

  • BLKNYC

    Maybe we ought to buy US made turbines for US warships?

    • julez

      That’s one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever seen. You do realize we’ve been using Rolls Royce products for military use for decades right? P-51 Merlin engine? yep that’s a Rolls Royce engine.

      • Jack D Ripper

        Our p51s stand ready

        • julez

          I only mentioned the P-51 because it’s one of the most iconic aircraft in US history.

          If you want to get idiotic about it.
          The F-35 JSF, the AV-8B Harrier, the V-22 Osprey, the C-130J, the Global Hawk UAV, all carry Rolls Royce engines.

          Or on the commercial side the Boeing 777 and 787 both have models powered by Rolls Royce power plants.

          And various older aircraft.

          GE, P&W and Rolls all have joint ventures together and are all extremely competent manufactures. The original comment just wreaked of stupidity.

          • The F-35 uses a Pratt & Whitney engine, not a Rolls Royce.

            The engines for the V-22, C-130J, and Global Hawk are all products of Rolls Royce North America (formerly Allison Engine Company and a GE subsidiary until 1995) and are built in Indianapolis.

            Relying on MT30 engines from the UK for the next generation of warships is a legitimate concern.

          • Centaurus

            Let’s get the Chinese to get to work on it, right away, damn the “trade war”.

          • julez

            It does not use a P&W. It initially did and was changed to a GE/RR fighter engine team labeled the F136.

            Explain why it’s s legitimate concern.

          • You have it backwards – there was a competition between the P&W F135 and GE/RR F136. The F135 won and the development of the F136 ended in 2011.

            You don’t see any problems with relying on another country for the engines of our major warships? Neither did Russia and because of that decision they now have two engineless Gorshkov-class frigates.

          • julez

            I stand corrected, you’re right on the F-35, I apologize for that. You’re right for some reason I thought it went the other way.

            I wouldn’t consider buying from the UK a risk. Considering we’re purchasing the engines from the closest ally we have, I just don’t see that as a problem. I don’t see us creating a Crimea like situation with the UK like Russia did with the Ukraine.

          • SvD

            The F-35B uses an RR lift fan. There are also foreign parts in ESSM and RAM and across the board, the US needs a lot of raw materials from foreign sources.

            And a lot of parts were actually outsourced, like airframe parts to South Korea and engine parts to Germany.

          • Duane

            Nope. You have it backwards. The P&W F135 is the engine on all F-35 models.

          • captlou

            Correction: Allison was a GM business unit. It was NEVER part of GE.

    • delta9991

      Being US made or not will not protect turbine blades from FOD or other damage in service. FOD doesn’t care what run your engine is on. I highly doubt these engines were delivered damaged and dinged up, as they would show on final inspection prior to delivery. If they were delivered outside of print it would have to receive an engineering approval to be accepted and that information is easily found by contacting the manufacturer.

      • Centaurus

        ‘Ya think the Navy is that smart ?

      • Duane

        Yup … an investigation will reveal the cause or causes of the failure. Maybe FOD or maybe something else such as a material defect, or possibly an operational error.

  • DaSaint

    The MT30 is the naval derivative of the Rolls-Royce Trent 800, found on the Boeing 777 long-range widebody airliner.

    Rolls-Royce, which also makes the Trent 1000 engine option for Boeing’s newer long-range 787 Dreamliner, as well as the Airbus A380, said in April ‘that the Package C line of those engines would need additional inspections for a durability issue that could lead to in-flight engine failures’.

    The RR engines produce a tremendous amount of power for it’s relative light weight, so I hope they can find and fix the root cause. Surprised that these DDGs were built without the required rail system to remove the damn turbines! REALLY??

    • delta9991

      Aircraft engine derivatives are lightweight for obvious reasons. Trent 1000 is a completely different engine from Trent 800, and you can’t just toss problems between engine lines because their the same company

      • DaSaint

        Yes, marine gas turbines are derivatives of aircraft engines and are excellent for propulsion and electrical generation versus their weight. I get that. That’s why they’re perfect for marine applications.

        Um, the Trent 1000 is derived from its predecessor, the Trent 800. The Trent 800 was and is a very reliable engine. But RR Trents have had blade issues. Doesn’t mean it can’t be identified and fixed. These things happen to many aero engines. GE has had their share too.

        • delta9991

          Trent 800 issues have mainly been confined to the HPC from my understanding. The damage seen here sounds like it’s on the HPT/LPT.

          And yes, I understand completely about any company having blade issues and finding root cause. This doesn’t sound like a manufacturing defect however.

          • DaSaint

            Sounds like it to me too.

            While I’ve been a long-time fan of the GE LM2500 and LM2500+ marine gas turbines, the MT30s have amazing capacities, and are being embraced by several navies. Thus far in addition to our own, the Royal Navy, ROK, Japan, and others have selected it over the LM2500 class due to the power output and low relative weight.

          • Curtis Conway

            With more than 870 LM2500 gas turbines installed in various platforms in the US and Allied Navy equipment, and a large number of CF6 engines installed in DC-10, MD-11, A300, 747 and 767 aircraft, some of which will continue to fly for some time, I would more than support an ITEP like improvement program for the LM2500/CF6 family of engines. That improvement program would follow a similar path that the US Navy 401K Ships Service Gas Turbine Generator improvement program which led to the T56 Series 3.5 Engine Enhancement Package, providing greater efficiencies in existing Legacy C-130 transport aircraft, and other platforms so equipped. That single enhancement could potentially improve the efficiencies of many Surface Combatants, and aircraft in the future providing a ready and significant return on the investment.

          • DaSaint

            They’re still good maritime engines. It just appears that their power production is eclipsed by some newer aero-derivative gas turbines, such as the MT30/Trent 1000.

          • Curtis Conway

            The LM2500 G4+ tops out at 47,370 shp (35,320 kW) according to y the GE fact sheet. The MT30/Trent 100036MW or 40MW flat rated to 38°C according to the Rolls Royce fact sheet. I’m not the big math major but it appears the LM2500 G4+ is a very little short, and that before we begin ITEP insertion items.

            The most relevant part of this argument is what is already in the ships. The LM2500 will continue to be the same form-fit-function, and the modern technology inclusions will squeeze more efficiency out of the same unit with minimal change to the current platforms, continue the same logistical support chain with the least disruption, and support this family of engines in other applications throughout industry. I have nothing against RR, they make a great SSGTG too, but to deliberately disrupt the process in place that is cranking along this well sure smells, particularly now that we see the wisdom of not having taken this path. Look at all the MT30 problems racking up disruptions in operations. Then compare that to the LM2500 number.

        • Curtis Conway

          From time to time I would really like to provide you a comment in private, because these guys held my comment on engine changeout rails on Aegis platforms.

          • Some of us know that of which you attempted to speak.

      • Ed L

        What happen to the General Electric LM2500 gas turbine?

        • delta9991

          What about it? LM2500 is a derivative of the CF6. If you’re asking why it’s not on this ship, I am not the right person to ask. If it doesn’t meet the requirements set forth by the Navy it won’t be selected which is all I can think of for the Zumwalt. Likely something to do with power generation requirements but again, I’m not the right person to answer that. LM2500 will be around for quite a while as it’s still going on the Burkes

        • At 36MW, the MT30 is nearly twice as powerful as the LM2500, allowing the use of two turbines (plus 2 generators) instead of four.

  • ElmCityAle

    A perfectly normal post shake-down cruise problem-finding and remediation. Unless, of course, the ship was one of the two LCS classes, in which case it’s the worst disaster in the history of naval ship building.

    • NavySubNuke

      The difference here is that this was almost certainly a case of a manufacturing fault and poor planning (not having the rail system designed).
      With LCS it is a problem with poor design —- that is why the crew screw ups keep making the engines eat themselves.

    • Refguy

      Hardly a typical post-shakedown problem as the MT30 has been used in other ships. The article doesn’t say whether the failure was in the power turbine or the gas generator turbine. If the former, it’s unique to the MT30, but has a long production history; if the latter, it’s the same as the Trent engine and has millions of flight hours in the Boeing 777.

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    I’ll take, “Sarcastic Statements for $1,600, Alex…” DAILY DOUBLE!

    • John Burtis

      We need those 155mm guns to start “slinging” some sort of munition real soon. What’ll the crew do in combat, emplace the venerable M-2 .50 cals on the railings and catwalks a la 1942?

      • The ship still has eighty 24′ diameter VLS cells – I’m sure the Navy will find something to stick in them.

        • Refguy

          24 feet?!

        • old guy

          Don’t tempt me to answer.

        • tiger

          More money…

  • S.J. Jolly

    “A harmonic filter, which prevents unintended power fluctuations from damaging sensitive equipment in complex electrical systems, … ” IOW, an industrial grade power strip?

  • Jack D Ripper

    Maybe it ingested some birds,,,,this pipe for stimm,,oh lawd

  • OddMan

    These big gas turbines have been around for decades, worked on LM-2500s back in the 80’s. They should be reliable, but to build a ship without means of changing out the gas turbine? That’s some damn poor planning.

    • Adrian Ah

      Poor planning aka concurrency seems to be a US military underlying philosophy in the last 20 years.

      • ew_3

        Adrian, Just retired after 45 years of engineering.
        First hardware, then software, finally as a GPS engineer.
        Can tell you the worse thing that ever happened to engineering in the US was MBAs with spread sheets. If Rickover had to deal with them I suspect the Nautilus would likely have never been finished instead of being a proud museum on the Thames.
        If you look at all the great steps taken, it was done by people with vision without spreadsheets.

        • wilkinak

          I thought the worst thing was PowerPoint.

        • vetww2

          Right on. However, there are exceptions worthy of note. My advanced ship concept program of the 60s to 70s was supported by 2 of the best business types alive; Dave Gusty, finance, and Jack Dunstan, contracts. As a result, we had a program which the GAO cited in its report as having “NO technical, schedule, management or financial discrepencies.” The ONLY time that they had ever worded it that way.

    • old guy

      That’s only the beginning folks. Howzabout capsizing in a SS 6 storm?

    • tiger

      It is not exactly like dropping a crate motor in a F-150 in the garage.

      • OddMan

        Never dropped a crate motor in a Ford. Did pull the top off of at least 3 different LM2500’s. But those were land based, we used built in cranes and the building was designed for maintenance.

      • vetww2

        But without engine access its even tougher, The PHM hydrofoils could change out an LM2500 engine in 2 weeks.

    • vetww2

      Very astute. I go back with the LM2500 even farther than that. Very reliable, BUT to not have a change out plan is worse than stupid; I vote for criminal.

  • John Burtis

    Sadly, there was no planning for the engine replacement during the build, so the overheard rail system had to be spec’d, approved, fabricated and installed, which “a special rail system is needed to remove the engine and put in a new one. That system hadn’t yet been designed when the Navy realized it needed one, so engineers had to finish the design and then install the system” on the USS Monsour. “So that’s what’s taken us a little bit,” the rear admiral said. Hmmm. I guess these Rolls Royce engines were supposed to, what, run forever? Has any ammunition been spec’d for the 155mm guns yet? For the most expensive three destroyers ever built anywhere, I am never surprised at the lack of planning in design and at the shortfalls in building of these dogs with fleas.

    • IssacBabel

      “Billions for Acquisition, a pittance for Maintenance”

      USN motto

      Technical question, have the 30mm or was it 57mm guns ever
      been fitted ? The Zummie probably has 12 ESM loaded
      and no other armament other than the Marine small arms?
      Maybe cross deck some 24 pounders from the Constitution ?

      • CaptainParker

        Naaa….they are going to go back to ramming tactics like the Austrians did to the Italians in 1866 at Lissa.

      • Duane

        80 cell of Mk 57 VLS. A bit more than “Marine small arms”.

        • vetww2

          But worthless against “SWARM” tactics that they would be up against in the Gulf.

          • Duane

            The Zums also have a pair of Mk46 30 mm Bushmaster mounts, good for close in work (up to 2 nm) with 220 rpm and an electro optical target system. It wouldn’t take much to adapt the 24 cell Hellfire VLS on the LCS to the Zums (it is a low profile launcher) that would get out to 5 nm. Plus the Zums deploy choppers (MH 60) that can range far beyond the ship, also armed with Hellfires and potentially larger air to surface missiles, and is equipped with a 7.62 mm gun.

            So a Zum is not helpless in the littorals. Not quite up to LCS standards (no 57 mm gun), but as good as any DDG-51 against most littoral threats. The 5 in 54 cal on the DDG 51 is actually a poor littoral shooter … way too slow a firing rate (max of 16 rpm), and no precision guided munitions good against moving targets.

      • Duane

        The Zums have a pair of Mk 46 30 mm Bushmaster gun mounts. They are pretty capable for littoral warfare at short ranges (2 nm). The Mk 57 can take any missile that can be fired from a Mk 41 VLS, plus more (it can take slightly larger missiles).

  • Pete Novick

    I learned ship handling from a salty CO then in his third command at sea. He used to take JO’s out on the bridge wing and teach them how to gauge a turn by the way the stern swings – in addition to watching the bow. The bridge wing was also the place to be when mooring or getting underway, and you really had to be there during UNREPs. Remember when UNREPs were all conducted under strict EMCON conditions and always at night? He liked to stand on the bridge wing in times of reduced visibility. “You are your own best lookout.” How many times have you heard that?

    He would show us subtle differences in water color that might suggest the edge of safe water. Or how a stiff wind was straining the starboard channel buoy anchor cable. Another tool in the tool box. He showed us tricks to use to check for sternway before issuing the command, “Let go the anchor.” All this cool stuff you could learn from the bridge wing. Plus you could shoot a star fix.

    You could holler up to the signal bridge and have the duty signalman send a flashing light message to ship’s in company. Flashing light? What’s that?

    Oh, did I say bridge wing? You mean, the place you can see what’s going up and down the pier? The place you can observe as you try to safely lower a boat to recover a man overboard? That bridge wing?

    Only a fool would build a warship without a bridge wing.

    • I’m sure they said the same thing when they stopped building open bridges.

      • Duane

        And I’m sure “they” said the same thing when the Navy stopped building crows nests on warships.

    • Adrian Ah

      They found that problem with the Independence class LCS- had to add bridge wings later on.

    • Duane

      So please explain why lack of a bridge wing caused turbine blade damage on the US Monsoor?

      SMH

      • ew_3

        The real problem is not with the Monsoor.
        The real problem is with the next ship the LBJ.
        Think the USN would never like admitting a ship name after this low life.
        /sarc

        Mabus was the biggest hack imaginable if you look at the ships he named.
        JFK? John Lewis? Harvey Milk?
        This 2nd ship I served on was named after John McCloy. He earned 2 CMHs.
        That is a proud tradition.

      • tiger

        Maybe the guys at Rolls Royce were too busy watching soccer at the factory?

    • Thank you for sharing the insight and experience from your service. If the Navy still had a few more seasoned old sailors maybe they wouldn’t be running into merchant ships as big as a city block. In clear weather.

    • old guy

      The lack of a bridgewing and the engine failure are least of “O;d Flopover’s” problems. Due to its silly tumblehome hull design and plow bow giving it an unstable roll characteristic, it capsizes in SS6 in a hard turn. This was discovered in the turning basin at DTNSRDC. Due to the activism of several friends of mine, the buy was cut from 13 to the 3 whose keels were already laid. Captains beware.

  • Foton

    They should definitely be monitoring this problem. Follow up with close inspections on other ships which will carry this engine. It’s good to be cautious with critical systems like this. Their doing a good job catching a problem like this, before it could become a critical issue.

  • Alex Andrite

    I like the P-51. Wasn’t that a Rolls engine? Such a beautiful ‘instrument’, as my voice instructor would say. Not me, the Bird.

  • proudrino

    The Zumwalt class ships do better pier side than underway. SWO officers need more time in simulated training. Turn these ships into extremely expensive simulators and call it a day.

  • MDK187

    Sabotage, old boy?

    • Yes, by the procurement process. Sooner or later, it is what all of these screw up add up to.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Can’t tell if the damage (FOD?) is on the “hot section” turbine blades or the compressor blades. If turbine blades, some very important barrier coatings that thermally protect them could have been damaged. No surprise such superficial damage caused no vibrations, yet anyway, since no appreciable loss of mass. But loss of a blade due to cracking initiating and propagating from such damage would definitely show up on a vibrometer.

    The nomenclature used in this article, “turbine”, seems to be referring to the entire gas turbine engine and not just the turbine section of same. On a typical gas turbine, the turbine section produces more than three times the power needed to drive the generator. So for a 40 MW load, those 3 or 4 turbine stages are developing 120 MW of power, roughly 2/3rds of which goes to drive the front end compressor section.

  • DaSaint

    Smh. You just can’t make this stuff up. Common sense isn’t common.

  • BanBait

    So: 1) We have no idea how the engines were damaged and 2) There was no provision for having the equipment to replace the engines if need be. Seriously? The procurement and planning processes in the entire military are so screwed up. There appears to be zero common sense anywhere.

  • NavySubNuke

    Yikes – and you admit that publicly?
    I’m happy to see you admit on this same board that LCS are crap though. What part of that failure were you unfortunate enough to work on?

    • James Brown

      Why shouldn’t I admit it. I’m not one of the naval architects that thought up that POS. I am an electrical and combat systems designer. Previously I was a technical tiger team leader for AIRPAC.

      • Duane

        Sour grapes, hmmm.

        • old guy

          The boy stood on the burning deck.

      • NavySubNuke

        Makes sense – at least your part works —- congrats on that.
        Now we just have to hope the Navy picks the right ship for FFG(x) and buys a real warship instead of a stretched out pier queen.

      • old guy

        You’re a brave man to associate yourself with Hunk-A-Junk. I lead the VOLUNTEER team of ship designers that recommemded to SEA00/05 to scrap the Congressionally promoted program. I was also SEA003/03R in the late 70s, when my guys invented the modular ship concept, SEAMOD, which was the kickoff point for LCS.

  • Duane

    The Navy completely and adamantly disagrees with you.

    • wilkinak

      The Navy brass politicians do, not necessarily anyone else. NAVSEA identified them as one hit wonders years ago.

      • Duane

        That must explain why all the unit commanders and ship commanders are ecstatic about them, because they are top Navy brass. Oops! That does not compute.

  • Why on Neptune’s name did we go with the RR turbines? The RN’s type 45’s are having problems with RR engines, etc. The LM LM2500 or a direvitive would have been better. Plus we have a slew of techs up todate on that engine. I guess stupis is as stupid does. Since we are discussing other things besides the engine problem I suggest removing one of the non-lethal, for want of projectiles, guns and replace it with vertical launchers. Then the ZUmmies will have more launchers than the in PLAN’s type 55 DDG’s. Think if a continum one ned LCS’s amd on the other end DDG 1000’s – what a mess and waste of dollars. How many Burkes could have been built, in any configuration, for the money spent on LCS’s and DDG 1000’s. We would have already been at a 355 ship Navy. A full house cleaning is needed from the teflon CNO down. MMCS(SW)(SS) USN Ret.

    • tiger

      Well, 80 years of building jets and turbines might be a reason?

      • Yea, OK, what about GE and PW I guess thier expertise dose not count. I’ll take the LM2500 over and RR turbine. Plus buy American.

  • Ken Adams

    Sure, the Freedom class had them from day one. The Independence class had to add them later.

  • Rob Centros

    F-35s and now this. What a joke.

  • renevers

    They could have put an external 20MW generator on the deck and sailed it to its main port for maintenance, on that backup system. Is the system “so integrated” that backup is not possible? It would be a blunder for a warship that can suffer all kinds of war damage. It is obviously not modular built, where failing modules can be exchanged quickly.

    • tiger

      What do you want? Sails and masts?

    • airider

      Ship made it back to port fine…it already has redundent systems so that’s not the focus.

  • Westcoastdeplorable

    From everything I’ve read, these “new” design ships break very easily and aren’t battle-ready. What a waste of BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars!

  • old guy

    My old boss, BUD, is spinning in his grave,

  • disqus_CbFK3MPhJu

    how many paragraphs till RR was mentioned?
    to their credit, they did mention it’s what the freedom class crap uses.

  • UKExpat

    I do not want to get involved in RR bashing as I know RR have an excellent reputation, second to none, building Marine Turbines for warships since the early sixties They continue successfully building these engines for both the RN and literally dozens of separate foreign navies since then. We have to find out what happened before making judgements.

    However an anecdote from the past about how to deal with such a problem may have some relevance now. It seems that roomers began to be heard, early on in the Falklands war, that engine problems had occurred on one of the two carriers that were then on route down to the Falklands to fight Argentina. The problems were generally believed to have occurred in HMS Hermes, the RN’s oldest carrier which would have been taken out of service if not for the war. The other carrier HMS Invincible was nearly brand new and was thus deemed to be without defects. The UK Government even issued a statement saying there was no engine problems on Hermes and the roomers stopped.

    After the war, the truth came out. There were engine problems but they were on one of HMS Invincible’s new RR gas turbines, not in the old Hermes. The solution was simple, they stopped the ship in mid Atlantic for a day or so and the ship’s engineering crew disconnected the problem engine and installed a new replacement engine that they just happened to be carrying on board. The ship then continued on south to fight it’s war and returned safely to the UK, with no further engine problems.

    My point is, if such a serious problem can occur to a ship on it’s way to a war nearly forty years ago can so relatively easily be rectified why on earth does every thing seem to go to ape-shit at the slightest hint of a problem in this day and age.