USS Zumwalt arrives home in San Diego

After a three-month journey from Maine, USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is now pierside at its homeport in San Diego.

The first in a class of three guided missile destroyers arrived at Naval Station San Diego on Dec. 8.

“We have looked forward to pulling in to San Diego for a long time,” Zumwalt commanding officer Capt. James Kirk said in a Navy statement.

“I can’t express enough how proud I am of the crew’s hard work in bringing Zumwalt to the West Coast.”

The ship suffered several engineering casualties related to its next-generation electric propulsion system, which delayed the arrival of the ship to its first homeport. In September, the ship was sidelined at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., for several days following a propulsion causality.

Unspecified propulsion problems then kept the ship longer than expected at Naval Station Mayport, Fla. Last month the ship lost propulsion during a transit through the Panama Canal and had to spend several days pierside undergoing repairs.

The root of the Norfolk and Panama casualties center around bearings linked to the driveshafts from the ship’s Advanced Induction Motors that have been contaminated by seawater leaking from failed lube oil chillers. The massive induction motors are driven by the ship’s gas turbine generators and in turn drive the ship’s shafts and power Zumwalt’s weapons and sensors; the motors are the heart of the unique power system found in the ship class.

The service is still investigating why the lube oil chillers leaked seawater into the system in the first place.

Now that the ship is in San Diego it will begin a combat systems activation period that will last for several months before it joins the fleet as a fully operational ship sometime in 2018.

Zumwalt is the first of three in the $22-billion class. Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) and Lyndon B. Johnson are currently under construction at Bath Iron Works in Maine.



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