New $4.4B Navy Destroyer Breaks Down in Panama Canal

USS Zumwalt had to be towed to port
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2016 5:50 AM CST
$4.4B New Navy Destroyer Breaks Down in Panama Canal
In this Sept. 7, 2016, photo, the future USS Zumwalt heads down the Kennebec River after leaving Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, on its way to be commissioned.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

(Newser) – The Navy's new $4.4 billion "stealth destroyer" USS Zumwalt stealthily broke down in the Panama Canal this week, bumped into the lock walls, and had to be towed to port. The destroyer, which was on its way from Baltimore to San Diego, will now spend time at ex-Rodman Naval Station for repairs, reports the AP, which notes that the ship is the most expensive destroyer the Navy has ever had. According to the US Naval Institute, the Zumwalt suffered an "engineering casualty" while going through the canal.

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The ship lost propulsion during the incident and also suffered water intrusion to bearings that connect driveshafts to motors, reports USNI News. Officials say the problem is similar to one that the 610-foot ship suffered in September, when it lost propulsion on the way from Bath Iron Works in Maine, where it was built, to Baltimore, where it was commissioned in October. When it gets moving again, the Zumwalt will continue to Naval Base San Diego, where its futuristic weapon systems will be activated before it enters service in 2018. (The Navy can't afford ammunition for the destroyer's "Advanced Gun System.")

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