I thought the Zumwalt class was supposed to be the ultimate in electrical and propulsion technology and combat resilience insofar as power was concerned. The ship is supposed to be able to cross-connect any power source to any powered equipment, including propulsion, and to be able to do so via an infinite number of redundant, cross-connected cabling. In short, this ship was supposed to be immune to power outages and highly resistance to combat damage to its electrical, power, and propulsion systems. That makes the following announcement quite disturbing. (1)
“The second stealthy destroyer being built for the
Navy cut short its first sea trials because an equipment failure
prevented testing of propulsion and electrical systems under full power,
officials said Friday.” U.S.
“The Monsoor’s problem was electrical in nature, with the loss of an induction coil causing the failure of another system.”
So, the Monsoor experienced a major power problem on its first trial? What does that say about the class’ ability to absorb battle damage? This was the ship that was supposed to have unlimited and “unbreakable” electrical/power systems. Any electrical casualty was supposed to be able to be bypassed, rerouted, and resupplied from other electrical sources. Apparently, that’s not quite working out.
I have no particular problem with issues arising during trials – that’s what they’re for! - but, this was supposed to be this class’ strength. This was the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the resilience and flexibility of the ship and it failed.
I also note that almost every new ship over the last several years has experienced serious power failures during trials and initial operations. Almost all of the LCS’s have had major power problems. The Ford was delivered with a major power casualty unresolved. Now the Zumwalts (Zumwalt, itself, suffered propulsion failures due to seawater in the lubricating oil). What’s going on?
(1)Navy Times website, “Equipment failure cuts short stealthy destroyer sea trials”, Associated Press,