The largest and most expensive stealth destroyer ever built, the USS Zumwalt, broke down in the Panama Canal on Monday. An engineering failure led to the ship being towed to a berth for maintenance while passing through the lower canal. The ship was commissioned on October 15, 2016 and set sail in early September.
It is believed that issue was caused by heat exchangers in the ship’s integrated power plant. The plant provides electrical power to the weapons systems and the propulsion plant and sensors. This technologically advanced system creates more power than any previous destroyer or cruiser class ship. The advanced induction motors can produce up to 78 megawatts of electrical power.
Third Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Ryan Perry issued a statement late Monday:
“Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, US Third Fleet, has directed USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) to remain at ex-Naval Station Rodman in Panama to address engineering issues that occurred while transiting the Panama Canal. The timeline for repairs is being determined now, in direct coordination with Naval Sea Systems and Naval Surface Forces. The schedule for the ship will remain flexible to enable testing and evaluation in order to ensure the ship’s safe transit to her new homeport in San Diego.”
Many Americans were shocked to hear that the brand new ship suffered a failure. However, this isn’t the first failure the ship has encountered. Minor incidents, such a seawater leak in a shaft lube oil system in September, have reportedly been pestering the ship’s crew since the ship was at Mayport Naval Station in Florida in late October.