First problems of US Navy’s LCS showing?

Another Freedom-variant of the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ships was unable to leave the port due to problems with the ship’s combining gears.

“Littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) experienced a casualty to the ship’s combining gears during an in-port period in Singapore, January 12”, said the Navy.

In a similar incident, USS Milwaukee, the fifth LCS which was commissioned just two months ago had to be towed to port in December 2015 after it experienced problems with the ship’s combining gears.

The official announcement said that problems for USS Milwaukee were caused by the discovery of metallic debris in the port and starboard combining gear filter systems.

Based on the U.S. Navy’s initial indications, USS Fort Worth was sidelined “due to an apparent failure to follow procedures during an operational test of the port and starboard main propulsion diesel engines (MPDEs).

The Navy said that a team of specialists were examining the incident but could not give an estimate of when the repairs might be completed.

Although both ships encountered similar problems the Navy says they were unrelated because the problems occurred through different causes. Milwaukee’s problem could be a physical issue while the Fort Worth problem was most likely caused by personnel not following procedures.

Combining gears allows Fort Worth to configure different types and combinations of engines for propulsion at sea.

USS Fort Worth left her homeport of San Diego, California in November 2014 and is currently on a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. The ship is sidelined in Singapore’s Changi Naval Base.

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