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January 21, 2016

USS Fort Worth grounded at Singapore naval base

US Navy littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Fort Worth suffered mechanical issues while it was docked at a Singapore port.

By Srijanee Chakraborthy

Fort Worth

US Navy littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Fort Worth suffered mechanical issues while it was docked at a Singapore port.

The cause of the mechanical failure is being investigated while the ship remains at the Changi Vaval Base in Singapore.

Jammed gears due to lack of lubricating oilis are suspected to be one of the possible reasons for the failure.

"During startup of the main propulsion diesel engines, lube oil was not supplied to the ship’s combining gears."

Citing a memo, Bloomberg News reported that the damage appears to be caused by a failure to follow established procedures during maintenance.

"During startup of the main propulsion diesel engines, lube oil was not supplied to the ship’s combining gears," the memo read.

Technical experts and shipyard personnel have been deployed to investigate and do the repairs but the date of completion has not been stated.

Another LCSUSS Milwaukee broke down off the Virginia coast in December 11. It had to be towed to Little Creek, where it is currently awaiting an investigation.

The Freedom-class LCS, manufactured by Lockheed Martin and Marinette Marine, was operational for more than a year in the western Pacific.

USS Fort Worth departed from its home port of San Diego in November 2014, and is now on a 16-month rotational deployment to the US seventh fleet in Asia.

The US watchdog Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recently questioned the survivability and lethality of the LCS, stating that the US Navy is trying to cover-up the shortcomings by redefining the missions of the LCS.

LCS is a $34bn Navy programme for two different ships, with interchangeable mission packages.


Image: USS Fort Worth in the Pacific Ocean. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Antonio P. Turretto Ramos.

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