Well, this is embarrassing. The US Navy, which has had no shortage of problems with its littoral combat ship, has a big problem with its newest destroyer, the USS Zumwalt.
The stealth destroyer suffered an "engineering casualty" while sailing through the Panama Canal en route to Naval Station San Diego, USNI News reports. The crew saw water enter two of the four bearings that connect the port and starboard electrical motors to the drive shafts – both propeller shafts locked, forcing tugs to help Zumwalt complete its first transit of the world-famous canal. According to USNI, a service official confirmed this latest problem is similar to one that stopped the ship in September – in that case, the Navy said sailors found "a seawater leak in the propulsion motor drive lube oil auxiliary system for one of the ship's shafts."
The $4.4 billion destroyer also contacted the canal wall, causing what USNI called "minor cosmetic damage."
Cmdr. Ryan Perry, spokesman for the 3rd Fleet, said the ship docked at the former NS Rodman under orders from Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, the commanding officer of the 3rd Fleet. While the official Navy line, provided by Cmdr. Perry, is that the timeline for repairs and the originally scheduled testing in San Diego is still flexible, a source told USNI that work on the shop could take up to ten days.
Aside from the September incident and this latest problem, the Zumwalt also suffered an unspecified engineering woe in October. It's also made headlines for its price and for, believe it or not, being too stealthy. The first of the Navy's new three-ship destroyer class was expected to arrive in San Diego by year's end for weapon system testing, USNI News reports.