The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-1) USS Freedom’s first overseas deployment to Southeast Asia has been marred by two more power outages, the U.S. Navy says.
The most recent two this week — including one March 21 — brings the outage total to three, all during the ship’s transit from Pearl Harbor to Guam en route to Singapore, says U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Darryn James.
The outage problems appear to be similar to those the ship suffered during a deployment in the Atlantic when the vessel was first pressed into Navy service, a source intimately familiar with Freedom operations says.
The first Pacific outage, as the Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN) reported, occurred March 16 (AWIN First, March 20). That outage lasted between 10 and 12 min., says Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, director of Navy staff and head of the special LCS Council of service admirals convened to make the Freedom’s deployment and the overall LCS program a success.
The power loss may have been due to water getting into the exhaust system of one of the ship’s diesel engine generators, or SSDGs, possibly creating a pressure difference, Hunt told AWIN March 20 during an exclusive interview about the program.
In the time it’s taken to lay down, build, launch, commission and this deploy ship, the Navy built, commissioned, and fought 175 Fletcher class, 58 Sumner class, and 99 Gearing class destroyers (not to mention the hundreds of Destroyer Escorts), finished the war, and put most of them into mothballs.
But the Freedom, far from being a warship, despite flying its commissioning pennant for nigh on five years, still can’t make it across the pond without significant engineering casualties. Sounds like it’s trying out not for the US Navy, but Carnival Cruise Lines.