LCS-1 Freedom Needs More Repairs

By Michael Fabey mike.fabey@aviationweek.com
Source: AWIN First
November 10, 2013
Credit: US Navy

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-1) USS Freedom is in need of yet another set of repairs in order to leave its Singapore pier and get to sea, U.S. Navy officials say.

The ship has been plagued by problems during its first Western Pacific deployment.

Speaking Nov. 11 about the most recent incident, Lt. Cmdr. Clayton Doss says that “while USS Freedom (LCS-1) was pierside in Singapore on Nov. 10 conducting steering checks in preparation for the next day’s underway, the port steerable waterjet feedback cable stopped sending signals to indicate the waterjet’s position. Until repairs are accomplished, the crew cannot steer the port waterjet remotely from the bridge.”

“These checks were conducted two days earlier without any issues,” he says. “The system appeared to be working properly up until this problem occurred. The ship has requested technical assistance to replace the damaged feedback cable.”

He adds that while Freedom could get underway with the starboard drive train, there are no plans to do so until repairs are accomplished.

“This problem is unrelated to the water intrusion that affected the starboard steerable waterjet hydraulic system last month,” Doss says. “That system was repaired and the starboard drive train is fully operational.”

The Freedom was pierside in Singapore Oct. 24 making preparations to get underway when the crew found “seawater contamination in the starboard steerable waterjet hydraulic system,” Doss says.

The Oct. 24 problem, Doss says, was unrelated to the seawater service piping rupture that affected both gas turbine engines earlier in that week.

Unlike most U.S. Navy ships which use rudders and propellers, Freedom has two independent drive trains that consist of a steerable-reversible waterjet and a boost jet for higher speeds, Doss says.


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