The USS Fort Worth, a Navy littoral combat ship, has suffered extensive gear damage while docked at a port in Singapore. The Navy is blaming the incident on a crew error.
According to reports, the crew failed to use sufficient lube oil, leading to excessively high temperatures on the gears. Debris also found its way into the lubrication system, which also contributed to failure, Defense News reports. The crew did not follow standard operating procedures.
Immediately following the incident, ship repair experts arrived on the scene to assess the damage. Until the investigation wraps up, the ship will remain at the Changi Naval Base in Singapore.
“We have the right resources in place to conduct the necessary inspections, determine the extent of the damage and required repairs, and return Fort Worth back to operational status,” Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight, a spokesman for the US Pacific Fleet, told Defense News. “USS Fort Worth has been a model of reliability for more than one year while deployed in the US 7th Fleet. We are working diligently to minimize the operational impact of this maintenance casualty.”
This marks the second incident over the last couple months that an LCS ship has been brought down due to mechanical failure. The Milwaukee broke down approximately 40 miles off the coast of Virginia. The Navy had to collect the ship and tow it back to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
Navy officials told Defense News that the problem with the USS Forth Worth and the USS Milwaukee is somewhat similar, though the actual causes are distinct. It is unknown when the problems with Fort Worth will clear up. A few weeks ago, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Navy Secretary Ray Mabus that orders of LCS ships were to be capped at 40, rather than the original amount of 52. The Navy disputed the decision at the time and still hopes Carter will have a change of heart.
Fort Worth has been deployed to Asia since November 2014.