4-year-old Navy ship needs $23M in repairs

By Brad Lendon and Zachary Cohen, for CNN

Apr 14, 2016

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A repair bill of an estimated $23 million and months out of action. That's the cost to U.S. taxpayers and the Navy after the four-year-old littoral combat ship USS Forth Worth tried to operate its propulsion system without enough oil in January.

The Navy announced Wednesday that the $360 million vessel would make a six-week-long journey this summer from Singapore, where it has been tied up since the incident, to San Diego for repairs to its combining gears, the hardware that transfers power from the ship's diesel and gas turbine engines to its water-jet propulsion system.

"The casualty occurred due to an apparent failure to follow procedures during an operational test of the port and starboard main propulsion diesel engines," said the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in a statement issued earlier this year.

"During start up of the main propulsion diesel engines, lube oil was not properly supplied to the ship's combining gears as required by ship's operating procedures," said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins, a Navy spokesman. "The insufficient flow of lube oil resulted in high temperature alarms on the port and starboard combining gears."

Read about a similar mishap on sister ship USS Milwaukee.