Woe is us. Two years --- good thing we aren't fighting a war or anything.
Just under two years after the amphibious transport dock New Orleans was delivered incomplete, the amphib still can’t perform the central mission for which it was designed: Carrying Marines, their gear and their vehicles into battle, according to a recent report by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey, or InSurv.Heads on pikes? No, didn't think so.
The San Diego-based New Orleans was “degraded” in its “ability to conduct sustained combat operations,” and has a slew of other problems, according to the inspection, conducted Aug. 11-15. The report, obtained by Navy Times, paints the picture of a ship not only troubled by the same technical problems as its older sibling, the first-in-class gator San Antonio, but also with many of its own.
The New Orleans InSurv arrived just as the Norfolk, Va.-based San Antonio is preparing to make its maiden deployment this week. That ship was delivered three years ago, also incomplete. Like the San Antonio, the New Orleans’ electrical system had ship-wide problems, according to Navy inspectors: “Significant electrical and electronic cable plant installation deficiencies exist,” Navy inspectors wrote, including “dead-ended cables, cables improperly bundled and banded, cables exceeding nesting capacity, inadequate packing of cables at watertight penetrations.”
The findings make for a total of three ships with widespread electrical problems that were built at Northrop Grumman’s shipyards along the Gulf Coast: the first two San Antonios and the amphibious assault ship Makin Island. Northrop Grumman announced earlier this year that it had to delay the delivery of the Makin Island by six months to fix its wiring problems. The company agreed to bear the roughly $360 million cost.