USS Fort Worth to return to San Diego for propulsion system fix

After the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship was sidelined in Singapore after an in-port mishap that left the ship’s commander without a job, USS Fort Worth is now being prepared to return to San Diego for repairs.

The U.S. Navy said it would prepare the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship to leave Singapore’s Changi base on its own power by the summer 2016.

Preparations are expected to take several months to complete necessary inspections, conduct lube oil system flushes, and configure the engineering plant for safe operations.

The ship will use its gas turbine engines to transit from its current location in Singapore where it has been rotationally deployed since December 2014. The Pacific Ocean transit to homeport in San Diego is expected to take about six weeks with several underway replenishments and planned fueling stops along the way.

Fort Worth experienced an engineering casualty to the ship’s combining gears in January after what the Navy termed as failure to follow procedures during an operational test of the port and starboard main propulsion diesel engines.

This failure to follow procedures lead the U.S. Navy to relieve the commander of the LCS Crew 101 on March 28.

The decision to complete full repair of Fort Worth’s combining gears in San Diego was based on several factors, the Navy said. The factors included maintenance timelines, efficiency of repairs, and shipyard capabilities.

Repairs would be conducted during Fort Worth’s previously scheduled selected restricted availability with docking (SRA(d)) maintenance period, reducing the overall cost to the Navy. It has yet to be determined whether the SRA(d) duration will be extended due to the combining gear repair work.

Related: Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee towed to port after breaking down.