One of our original critiques of the design compromises that brought us LCS was its unnecessarily complicated, delicate, and touchy engineering plant. We have hit on it many times - some of the best hits coming from Sid.
Well Big Navy - you owe us another beer. Via Gary Robbins,
The San Diego-based USS Freedom -- the first of the Navy's new Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) -- has experienced a propulsion problem for the second time in less than six months and will have to undergo an engine replacement.Don't blame the builder. The did the best they could to meet the speed fetish requirement - here is the result.
"High vibration indications were discovered in the starboard-side gas turbine engine while the ship was operating off Southern California," said Commander Jason Salata, a spokesman for Naval Surface Forces, San Diego.
"A borescope was done and damage was found to the engine's blading. The engine will be replaced during a scheduled (servicing) visit to Naval Surface Warfare Center in Port Hueneme," which starts on Sept. 27.
Freedom has a second gas turbine. But the ship switched to its two diesel engines when the problem arose offshore on Sept. 12. In early May, the vessel had to pull into General Dynamics-NASSCO shipyard in San Diego for repairs when issues developed with a waterjet, which is part of the ship's propulsion system.
The original sin of LCS was the speed requirement. Math is hard - engineering is more harder, so to speak.
Another data point of many that we are well past the point that we need to stand athwart the LCS program and yell, "Halt!"
War in the littoral. How many hits from a 23mm from the back of a pickup truck can this ship take and still limp away? Ponder.
It is a bad ship. We can do better. If we want to win at sea, we must.
Hat tip Steve.