DDG 111 and following ships in the class, as well those receiving the "DDG Modernization" package (DDG 51, 53, and more on the way) there is a new Machinery Control System with all new consoles (Universal Control Consoles (UCC) with flat plasma screens, pull-down menus, controlled with a ball tab and a keyboard. There are no buttons to push. These consoles replace legacy PACC, EPCC, and SCC consoles. The entire plant (yes, ALL of it), electrical and/or propulsion can be run from ANY location.Things happen with new construction. It isn't the "oops" that matter - it is how you react to it. All indications are the BIW are doing this right.
So far there have been few issues with the MCS of significance, just the occasional glitch you expect to have with any new system of this complexity. The Universal Engine Controllers (UEC) were in place years ago, with the UEC+ starting in DDG 102. The "plus" designation of UEC+ is for the addition of digital fuel control.
A few more details about the incident Friday:
-Ship's force was not operating the gear. (BIW has the engineering plant until ships force moves aboard next month).
- This was not a failure of EOSS, tagout, or procedures. True, BIW does not follow USN procedures, they are expert engineers who follow OSHA safety rules, and when they are underway, they follow merchant mariner engineering standards. No issues with them from a safety POV - BIW is a great shipyard.
-There were no injuries. Fire was fully contained in the exhaust uptake.
-Only minor damage. No impact on ship's schedule, training, LOA, or sailaway.
-Root cause analysis is still in being done.
Good thing this incident occurred in the shipyard where the experts are on new DDG's construction. Engineers from BIW, SUPSHIP Bath, NAVSSES, and appropriate vendors from General Electric (they own the GTEs), and Lockheed Martin (they own the UECs) are investigating this incident, doing data reduction, and figuring out what happened to each electron involved in the plant.
It could be a failed component, or perhaps a needed software/firmware fix. Thing about the DDG-51 program, the infrastructure is in place for rapid discovery, analysis of the best solution, development of the fix, and rapid distribution of that fix to all of the ships affected.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
From someone inside the loop, good news and concerning news - Admiral Adama is not happy: