The US Navy's first Zumwalt-class (DDG 1000) guided-missile destroyer is reportedly undergoing repair work on its propulsion gear.
US Navy Acquisition Directorate spokesperson captain Thurraya Kent was quoted by DefenseNews as saying: "The ship's hull was cut above the water line to enable the most effective means of conducting repair work on one of 12 propulsion motor drives."
Officials said the repairs were routine work to gain access to the vessel's key internal systems.
Kent added: "The work took place in the weeks following initial trials and was done in parallel with the activation of propulsion systems.
"The overall impact to the propulsion system was minor."
In December last year, the vessel sailed out to sea from shipbuilder General Dynamics (GD) Bath Iron Works for the first time to begin its initial sea trials.
The final stages of works are being carried out on the vessel at the GD shipyard in Bath, Maine.
The Zumwalt destroyer is scheduled to undergo the next round of sea trials and is expected to be delivered this year.
Acceptance trials will be performed by the US Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey onboard, with the navy then assuming ownership of the destroyer.
The 610ft-long Zumwalt destroyers have a displacement capacity of more than 15,700t when fully loaded, and are designed for multi-mission littoral operations and land attack.
The vessel can is equipped with multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities and is suited to operate either independently or being integrated as a part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups.
Image: The US Navy's Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer DDG 1000. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics/Released.