[Defense in Brief] Second Zumwalt-class destroyer suffers failure during sea trials

The captain and crew of the second super-stealthy destroyer being built for the U.S. Navy were forced to cut short the vessel’s sea trials after the Zumwalt-class warship after an equipment failure prevented testing of propulsion and electrical systems under full power.

The problem was discovered during builder trials aboard the future USS Michael Monsoor after departing Bath Iron Works.

The Navy said the ship returned to the shipyard under its own power so the problem can be identified and fixed.

The first ship of the class suffered propulsion problems after seawater leaked into the system.

“The Monsoor’s problem was electrical in nature, with the loss of an induction coil causing the failure of another system. The shipbuilder decided it would be more efficient to make the fix at the yard,” media reports noted.

The third and final ship of the class, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, is also being built at the Bath Iron Works. [source]

(Analyst comment: Obviously propulsion problems aboard warships at sea are never a good thing, but this is what sea trials are for. However, it sounds as though the Zumwalt-class warships are suffering similar issues regarding propulsion, which could signal a design flaw that may or may not be fixable. We’ll be keeping an eye on this.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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