The US Navy has discovered ‘aggressive’ corrosion in the first new littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Independence, built by Austal subsidiary Mobile and General Dynamics.

Bloomberg reported the US Navy as saying that the corrosion in the propulsion areas of the aluminum-hulled ship will require permanent repair and drydocking of the ship till next year.

The corrosion marks another set back to the $37.4bn LCS programme, according to which the US Navy will procure 55 ships.

Austal was awarded a $465m contract that could value $3.78bn if all options are exercised, for constructing ten LCS for the US Navy.

The LCS are being designed to operate closer to shore and to conduct missions that include clearing mines, hunting submarines and providing humanitarian relief.