WASHINGTON — The littoral combat ship Detroit suffered another engineering casualty on its return trip to its home port in Florida and is being towed into Port Canaveral, the U.S. Navy confirmed Friday.
The ship lost power on its return journey from a deployment in Latin America, which it was forced to depart after a casualty to its combining gear. It is being towed back to port by the tug and supply vessel Gary Chouest, according to U.S. 2nd Fleet spokesperson Cmdr. Ashley Hockycko.
“While conducting routine operations in the U.S. Fourth Fleet area of responsibility, the USS Detroit (LCS 7) experienced an engineering casualty. After a thorough technical evaluation, it was determined that repairs would need to be made in port,” Hockycko said in a statement.
“During the ship’s return transit to her homeport of Mayport, Fl., the ship lost electrical power. The ship is currently being towed to Port Canaveral by MV Gary Chouest. Due to deteriorating weather in the area, the ship was towed to Port Canaveral, Fl., the closest port out of an abundance of caution and for the safety and comfort of the crew,” the officer added.
The ship was scheduled to arrive this afternoon, Hockycko said. Online vessel trackers showed Chouest arriving in Port Canaveral around 2:15 p.m.
Detroit is a mono-hulled Freedom variant of the littoral combat ship, designed by Lockheed Martin and built at Marinette Marine in Wisconsin.
Defense News first reported the combining gear casualty in late October. The combining gear is a complex transmission that connects power from two large gas turbine engines and two main propulsion diesel engines to the ship’s propulsion shafts, which propels the ship through the water with water jets.
Detroit will redeploy to Southern Command when repairs are completed, U.S. 4th Fleet Commander Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson said in an Oct. 28 statement.
“USS Detroit (LCS 7) experienced an engineering casualty during routine operations, and a technical evaluation determined that in-port repairs would be required,” the statement read. “USS Detroit has been a vital and productive asset and will be redeployed as soon as possible.”
The incident was reminiscent of one in late 2015 with Detroit’s sister ship, the Milwaukee, was forced to shut down its engines and be towed into port on its maiden voyage from the shipyard to its home port in Mayport, Florida, after suffering a similar combining gear casualty.
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.