U.S Navy‘s had its fair share of problems when developing the USS Zumwalt, the stealth destroyer that would be the namesake of a new class of vessels (inclusing ammos that were too expensive to fire). The second Zumwalt-class ship, the USS Michael Monsoor, had to head get back to its shipyard because of engine Busted.
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The Michael Monsoor finished its acceptance trials back in February of 2018. But as Military.com now reports, the ship suffered damage to its turbine blades during those trials that will require two of its Rolls Royce-built MT30 marine gas turbine engines to be replaced.
The Navy took “partial delivery” of the stealth destroyer in April, but has known about the problem since February. Last week the vessel went back to its shipyard, the Bath Iron Works in Maine, for the necessary repairs. Rear Adm. William Galinis told USNI News:
“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.”
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The Navy found the defects during a borescope inspection, in which they slip an optical device inside the engine to get a look at the turbines. According to Naval Technology, the Rolls engines cost $20 million apiece to replace. Previously, the Michael Monsoor suffered electrical system problems during testing in December 2017. The Monsoor is named for a Medal of Honor recipient, U.S. Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoor, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2006 after throwing himself on an enemy grenade.
In February when the Monsoor passed its trials, though, the Navy has bigger concerns here besides just mechanical problems. The Zumwalt program, once envisioned as a group of 32, is now down to just three in reality, with their mission uncertain.