Lockheed's First Littoral Combat Ship Loses Propulsion at Sea

The U.S. Navy revealed this week that its first-built littoral combat ship, Lockheed Martin's USS Freedom, suffered a temporary loss of propulsion Saturday when first its No. 2 ship service diesel generator shut down, then other generators also had to be shut down as well.

The No. 2 generator was found to have suffered from a turbocharger exhaust leak, and the ship's No. 3 generator was found to have a similar problem. At one point, DefenseNews.com reports, the ship was having to operate off of just one of its four equipped diesel generators.

Other power-loss problems have been encountered aboard Navy littoral combat ships in the past. For example, the General Dynamics variant of the ship, the USS Independence, lost power briefly on June 21. The Freedom suffered a power loss in 2010 as well.

In response to emailed inquiries, Lockheed declined to specify which company manufactured the affected generators affected on its ship. Lockheed did say the 2010 incident aboard the Freedom was neither related to, nor similar to, the power loss over this past weekend.

Lockheed further noted that it is "currently working with the U.S. Navy and vendor to improve performance of the generators, and progress has already been made to follow-on ships."


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