Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What Kind of Navy Are We Running? The USS Little Rock is Trapped in Montreal

Montreal's a fine city, even in the winter but the performance of the U.S. Navy over the last couple years is very suspect.
The collisions of the USS Fitzgerald and then the USS John S. McCain resulted in the deaths of seventeen sailors. The cruiser USS Antietam ran aground trying to anchor in Tokyo Bay, something the battleship Missouri was able to accomplish in 1945*, four of the six littoral combat ships broke down in nine months of 2016 and the then newest ships in the Navy (the ship in this story is now the newest), the stealth destroyers Michael Monsoor  and Zumwalt** both broke down,

Here's the latest via the Toronto Star:

U.S. navy warship to spend winter in Montreal due to icy weather 
The USS Little Rock’s maiden journey was complicated by unusually heavy ice conditions that have kept it in Montreal since Christmas Eve.
MONTREAL—A brand new U.S. navy warship that has been stuck in Montreal for weeks will spend the winter in Canada after its journey to Florida was thwarted by cold and ice.

The USS Little Rock was commissioned in Buffalo on Dec. 16 in a grand ceremony attended by over 8,000 people that featured a brass band, speeches by military leaders and a chaplain who prayed for “fair winds and following seas.”

But it hasn’t gotten very far since then, after its maiden journey was complicated by unusually heavy ice conditions that have kept it in Montreal since Christmas Eve.

Now the U.S. navy has decided to wait until weather conditions improve before allowing the ship to continue to its home port in Mayport, Fla., according to a spokesperson.

“The temperatures in Montreal and throughout the transit area have been colder than normal, and included near-record low temperatures, which created significant and historical conditions in the late December, early January time frame,” Lt.-Cmdr. Courtney Hillson said in a phone interview.
“Keeping the ship in Montreal until waterways are clear ensures the safety of the ship and crew, and will have limited impact on the ship’s operational schedule.”

The 118-metre Freedom-variant Little Rock is described as a fast and agile combat ship that is capable of operating near shore as well as on the open ocean....MORE
*The comparison of the Antietam to the Missouri isn't really fair. Despite being much smaller the Antietam actually has a deeper draft than the Missouri, 34 feet versus 29 feet.
Plus, the Missouri itself ran aground once. It was stuck in the sand of Chesapeake Bay for two weeks.
The Soviets thought it was hilarious. Norfolk not so much.

**Readers may remember the Zumwalt. On the 50th anniversary of Star Trek's first broadcast we posted:
Sept. 8, 2016
"These are the voyages of the warship Zumwalt"
The stealthy Zumwalt departed Wednesday from Bath Iron Works to head to its commissioning ceremony with a crew of 147 officers and sailors that was praised by their skipper for their preparation over the past three years to get the first-in-class warship ready for duty.
"On this ship, teamwork is at a premium. The three things this crew exemplifies is high level of technical expertise, great teamwork and then the toughness to get done what needs to get done," Capt. James Kirk said before the ship maneuvered down the Kennebec River to sea....
That was followed on September 21 by:

"She cannae take it, Captain Kirk! USS Zumwalt breaks down"

Following up on September 8ths "These are the voyages of the warship Zumwalt".
From The Register:

Water got into where water should not have been
 The USS Zumwalt has broken down after a water leak in a lubrication system
Weird new warship USS Zumwalt has broken down while on sea trials, three weeks ahead of her formal commissioning ceremony.

The futuristic $4.4bn vessel, which features a so-called “tumblehome” hull, suffered a seawater leak into the auxiliary lube oil system for one of her main propeller shafts, according to USNI News.
The defect will take about two weeks to repair at US naval station Norfolk, it was said.

An absolute behemoth of a ship, the 16,000 ton Zumwalt – almost three times as big as the UK's already large Type 45 destroyers – was intended to be the lead ship of a new class of warships that would have cemented US naval dominance well into the 21st Century.

Instead the entire program, supposedly for 36 vessels, was cancelled after the third ship was laid down, thanks to some seriously eye-watering costs. The US Navy has since started buying new-build Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, the basic design of which dates back to the mid-1980s.

Zumwalt herself is named after Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, chief of the US Navy during the latter part of the Vietnam War. Her commanding officer is, by a delightful quirk of nominative determinism, Captain James Kirk – though sadly his middle initial is A rather than T....