National Security

Navy’s ‘Most Advanced Warship’ Had To Be Dragged Out Of The Panama Canal

U.S. Navy photo/James E. Foehl

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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The U.S. Navy’s most technologically-advanced warship broke down in the Panama Canal Monday and had to be towed to a nearby port.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) lost propulsion while traversing the canal, and leaks were reportedly detected in the ship’s Advanced Induction Motors (AIM), which power the ship’s systems, revealed U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) News. The remainder of its journey through the canal had to be completed with the assistance of tug boats.

As it was being pulled out the canal, the USS Zumwalt made contact with the lock walls, causing cosmetic damages to the outside of the ship.

The Navy decided that the ship was unfit to continue its voyage without repairs.

The missile destroyer is undergoing repairs at Rodman, a former U.S. naval base in Panama. The schedule for the repairs is still being determined, according to Defense News.

Once the ship has been repaired, it will continue on to San Diego, where it will be outfitted with all necessary combat systems. The destroyer was initially expected to arrive in San Diego before the end of the year. Combat system installation is expected to continue throughout most of next year, and the USS Zumwalt should joint the Third Fleet as a fully-operational warship in 2018.

The multi-billion dollar USS Zumwalt was commissioned into active service October 15. At the time, it was praised by the Navy as “America’s newest and most technologically advanced warship.”

Prior to its commissioning, a seawater leak was discovered in the propulsion motor drive lube oil auxiliary system for one of the ship’s shafts. The destroyer also experienced unspecified engineering problems during its stay at Mayport Naval Station in Florida towards the end of last month.

The Navy is in the process of constructing two similar vessels, the USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) and USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002)

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