Machinery Lubrication / Preventive Maintenance

U.S. Navy ship sidelined in Singapore from gear damage due to under-lubrication

By Bloomberg News

Jan 25, 2016

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A U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ship is sidelined in port in Singapore because of damage to gears that propel the vessel, according to a memo from the service, which blamed failure to use enough lubricating oil.

The USS Fort Worth built by Lockheed Martin Corp. had damage to combining gears that let the ship run on a mix of diesel and gas turbine engines, according to the memo obtained by Bloomberg News. “There is no estimated date of completion” to the repairs, it said.

The incident is the second in little more than a month involving the vessels, which cost on average about $440 million each, according to the Congressional Research Service. The Navy towed the USS Milwaukee more than 40 nautical miles to port in Virginia last month in the Atlantic after its gears failed on Dec. 11, according to the Navy Times. The Navy memo said the two incidents weren’t related.

Initial indications are that the gear damage in Singapore “appears to be caused by a failure to follow established procedures during maintenance,” according to the memo. “During startup of the main propulsion diesel engines, lube oil was not supplied to the ship’s combining gears.”

Read more about how the Navy is troubleshooting these lubrication issues.