SAN DIEGO (LOG NEWS SERVICE) — The U.S. Navy’s biggest, most expensive and most technologically advanced destroyer arrived at its homeport in San Diego on Dec. 8 after a three-month journey from Maine that included several delays caused by mechanical problems.
USS Zumwalt departed Maine shipbuilder Bath Iron Works in September before being commissioned in Baltimore in October.
The first delay occurred in September when Zumwalt suffered a leak in her propulsion system. The leak required the ship to remain at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia longer than expected for repairs.
A second delay occurred when Zumwalt suffered another engineering problem on Nov. 21 while passing through the Panama Canal and was towed to port at the Pacific end.
USNI News, a publication of the U.S. Naval Institute, reported the destroyer lost propulsion when both drive shafts failed and Zumwalt hit the lock walls causing minor cosmetic damage. The crew also saw water intrusion in bearings that connect electric motors to drive shafts, USNI News said.
The Navy said Zumwalt departed Panama on Nov. 30 for San Diego after repairs to the propulsion system by the ship’s crew and a team from General Electric and the Naval Sea Systems Command.
The 610-foot warship, which cost more than $4.4 billion, has an inward-sloping hull and an angular shape to minimize its radar signature. One of its signature features is a new gun system that fires rocket-powered shells up to 63 nautical miles.
In San Diego, Zumwalt will undergo testing, crew training and the completion of the installation of its combat system with regular deployment expected to begin by the end of 2017, Navy officials said. (Reports from The Associated Press were used in this story.)