The Navy’s hull crack problem

The Navy’s hull crack problem

The Navy and Lockheed Martin said this week that a watchdog group’s report about the littoral combat ship USS Freedom was just a rehash of old stuff, problems diagnosed awhile ago and for which fixes were already in place or in the works.

But at least one of the issues has been with the Navy for decades, and its appearance so early in the life of the first LCS could only add to the list of costs and challenges that sailors must deal with as they bring the new ships online.

According to documents obtained by the Project On Government Oversight, the Freedom had at least 17 cracks by the time it entered dry dock out in San Diego; some of those cracks were admitting water. All the cracks were above the Freedom’s main deck. The ship has a steel hull and an aluminum superstructure, and the cracks described by the Navy report are different from another problem the ship had — the failure of one of its shaft seals, the area at which one of the main propulsion driveshafts goes through the hull and out into the ocean.

The Freedom isn’t the first ship the Navy has built with an aluminum superstructure and a steel hull. Naval engineers turn to aluminum because it’s lighter than steel; this helped keep the cruisers stable despite their towering Aegis superstructures and helps make both the Freedom and its cousin, the all-aluminum USS Independence, very fast.

The cruisers, though, also have had to deal with many cracks as their years in service wore on. Which raised the question for one of our phriend Phib’s correspondents — is LCS fated to be as prone to structural cracks as the cruisers are? Here’s what he wrote about the Freedom:
Cracks in the port and starboard forward corners of the deckhouse right about the bi-metallic and steel coming (same arrangement as found on FFG and CG) is telling us that the entire front of the house is wobbling from side to side. More or less, the aluminum is being compressed down, then stretched up. Eventually metal fatigue will have its way and you’ll have cracks there. Navy will try to fix this by establishing “critical weld procedures” for certain areas where cracks show up (from bad design and lack of stress analysis) and by inserting thicker plates in these locations. As you can guess, the problem hasn’t gone away; the cracks will move above, inboard or aft of the thicker plate. It’s the same system they’ve used on FFGs and CGs when they don’t want to admit they had faulty design.

POGO’s Dana Liebelson argues that this just can’t continue:

Imagine if you had to fly on a commercial jet that had equipment failures (like power outages!) most of the time. Not only would you be rightfully concerned for your safety—but how on earth would you get anywhere on time?

Well, the reality is that USS Freedom doesn’t—after more than six months in port, the ship has only been out to sea twice this year, and during both trips the engines and other key equipment failed. This is a far cry from what the Navy has been telling taxpayers: it’s claimed to Congress that both variants of the LCS are performing well. It’s time for the Navy to fess up that this ship is nothing but a busted, leaky boat with a history of design and equipment failures. With the LCS program expected to cost taxpayers $120 billion, it simply doesn’t make sense to keep this unnecessary vessel.

Oh yes it does, say the Navy and Lockheed.

“USS Freedom is a first-of-class ship, and it is expected the Navy will discover and correct issues as they are identified,” NavSea spokesman Chris Johnson told DoDBuzz. “This is not unique to LCS, but standard for all first-of-class ships. We are fully confident that LCS 1 and the rest of the class will perform as designed.”

Said Lockheed spokeswoman Dana Casey: “USS Freedom has been certified and approved by both the Navy and the American Bureau of Shipbuilding. Solely focusing on isolated incidents on this first ship misrepresents the nearly decade of experience and knowledge Lockheed Martin now has building and maintaining these ships. Any issue that has arisen in the development, testing and usage of this lead ship has been, or will be, addressed to ensure she and future Freedom-class ships meet or exceed the Navy’s needs. And our overall LCS program remains on cost and on schedule.”

It’s probably too soon to determine whether LCS will develop a cracking problem as widespread as that aboard the cruisers. Only two Freedom-class ships are in the water today and the second, USS Fort Worth, hasn’t made its way into the open ocean yet; it’s still sticking to the Great Lakes near the Wisconsin shipyard where it was built.

As for the Independence, its public profile is almost as low as a submarine’s: Where the Freedom made a much-trumpeted “trial deployment” when it changed homeports from Florida to San Diego, the Independence has made the same cruise, including a trip through the Panama Canal, with barely a peep from the Navy. No “early deployment” branding and no chasing of drug smugglers or other “missions.” The second Independence-class ship, the Coronado, was christened in January but hasn’t yet joined the fleet.

New or old, isolated or widespread, POGO’s documents and its letter to the Hill probably will do little to arrest the momentum of LCS. The program is too far along, too much money already has been spent, and the Navy has made up its mind to make the ships work, no matter what.

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It is because the welding inspectors are not generally qualified welders. A lot of welders know how to whip a weld to hide porosity that the inspector cannot see with the invisible eye or during mag particle, but if you run a file or a grinder over that weld tou will find all sorts of porosities in the weld. The govt is just as guilty as the contractors on this issue. These QA inspectors should be pulled from the ranks of experianced welders rather than hiring folks with engineering degrees that have never in thier lives held a stick in thier hands.

I question whether all the cracks were above Freedom’s main deck. Bloomberg reported cracks below the waterline, which would be in the steel hull skin, not in the aluminum superstructure. Here is a quoted excerpt with link further below.

“During a heavy-weather ocean trial on the USS Freedom in mid-February, he said, sailors discovered a six-inch horizontal hull crack below the waterline that leaked five gallons an hour. Inside the hull the crack measured three inches. It originated in a weld seam between two steel plates.“–03-18/lockheed

that’s what u get when put the building and designing of US ships in the hands of non American companies. Austal to be exact :(

So who here is ready for a second round of F-35 style cost increases, delays, and major design flaws?

…I know I am!

We’re paying Bentley prices and getting Ford Pintos-but not just any crappy run of the mill Pinto, we’re getting lemon Pintos at that.

guest… You are wrong. The Freedom monohull variant mentioned in the story above is from the Lockheed Martin team (Lockheed Martin, Gibbs & Cox, Marinette Marine, Bollinger Shipyards). The design was based on the Fincantieri Destriero motor yacht, and is built by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. shipyard Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.

That’s a great point! I remember learning the basics of welding (In a high school shop class) and while I could always make a pretty weld (nice bead) they weren’t always strong welds. It was always dissapointing when the instrcutor would break the weld with his bare hands. There’s certainly more to welding than making a pretty bead.

Let me guess… The Navy should scrap the LCS and buy more super hornets.

Navy locked in fixed price options for both variants of LCS out to LCS-24.

Overall using aluminum for a Ocean going vessel is silly and dangerous while light weight Aluminum is too weak to deal with stress from the Ocean. replacing some of the structure with Steel or other composite materials would make these ships more durable.

lol, I wasn’t going to say that actually. I’m in the Navy and I’ve never been on an LCS, but I did talk to a lot of people that have experience with it. Everything that needs maintenance often is hard to get to and everything that doesn’t need maintenance is easily accessible. The top of the ship isn’t painted because the extra paint would violate the stated weight margins and potentially cause the ship to roll. Make no mistake the ship goes as fast as it was designed to go and it has a lot of advanced tech, but idea of being on an LCS during combat legitimately scares me and I’m not talking about the fear from enemy fire.

To be honest, I didn’t know that. That was a smart move on the Navy’s part.

LOL, LOL.…. double funny comment, there, Big Rick ! Cannot imagine a “lemon” Pinto ! Made by Detriot, on a Tuesday morning, right after a Monday night Football game during Autumn. Now THAT’s a quad-redundant Lemon.

using aluminum aint the big issue, lot of aluminum ships out there — Quality Control just down right sucks. ANother issue is utilizing old school building techniquies with modern materials and designs. If they had switched to skeletonized tubular truss framing over the old school large I beams they could had saved weight while adding extra reinfocement to the hull, cable ties would also be benneficial between frames to add rigidity while still allowing ample flex to prevent stress cracks, being done on some commercial ships and yachts but hasnt gained ground in the military yet.

I wonder if the LCS sailors are getting “hazard” pay for serving on LCS?

can you imagin a big crack opening up during their Pacific crossing? Or getting tossed around a lot in some good waves?

I tell ya, they certainly don’t build them like they use to. I was on a Knox frigate and during one storm our forward gun mount would completely submerge and then the entire bow would come out of the water and slam down hard and the ship would shake violently back and forth-this kept up for 3 days. Somehow I don’t think the 3000 Ton LCS would survive that abuse

i was in the navy uss mount hood ae 29 1984 to 1992 e5 radioman concord cali.

First off let’s examine the material we are talking about it is aluminum and you can’t use magnetic practical (MT) tests on aluminum. The NDT methed for examining an aluminum weld would be a dye penetrate test followed by an ultrasonic examination as per the FFG or CG crack alt manuals. The fact is aluminum is a poor choice for ship building both because of cracks and it’s melting point during a fire as shown during the Faulkland islands war between Britan and Agentina.
To pick at some more of your post if you where welding on carbon steel wich can be inspected using MT if you could expose porosity with a file it will show up during an MT. Secound in 15 years in ship repair I have never seen aluminum welded using the SMAW process on board a navy vessel it is always done on board ships with either the GMAW GTAW prosess.

John Schuette

Could it be the differential movement of dissimilar metals compensation between the two? Of course location is the key. Don’t know not a metalurgist or naval architect.

LCS = Jefferson Gun Boats

The Newport Class Tank Landing Ships ( LST ) had the same problem . They too had Aluminum Superstructures that had a problem with cracks so bad that the LST I was on had flooding in the Messdeck & Galley areas & had to be griped ( tied down ) to the main deck in the Vehicle Passageway going thru the superstructure . This Class of Ships were Commissioned in the late 60s & early 70s one would think the Ship Builders would have figured the problem of mixing Iron & Aluminum in shipbuilding by now !.

I was on a Knox as well, sounds like the same storm, but we did develop a crack in the superstructure on the O1 level (in CIC). A week or so in an Athens shipyard and we were off and sailing around again.

Your right on the money concerning the materials John. I wonder where the cracks are in the hull ‚and if they are paralell to the welds, weld cracks properor HAZ cracks?? Was the procedure violated? Pre weld heat tratment or post weld heat treatment done??? Who knows what goes on in the ship yards now days.….….…..

Perhaps a return to rivets is in order. Embrittlement on welds is always a possibility but rivets don’t suffer that particular malady. OTOH, the USS Pegasus PHM-1 had a problem with rivets failing on the trip to Hawaii during the 1978 RIMPAC exercise. What do you do when rivets fail and the superstructure starts to rip off right at main deck level at the front of the pilot house? Why, a 5 gallon can of “monkeysh!t” (Standard Navy Sealant) seals it up so seawater doesn’t flow through Combat while you finish the transit to the calmer waters of Pearl Harbor! BTW, the rivets were of a lesser grade than the aluminum of the superstructure because the harder allow wasn’t available at the time of construction. That was rectified very soon after the “rip”. Still, that was one of the Navy’s first aluminum hulled ships and Boeing had a devil of a time making the welds on that hull and it was a helluva lot smaller than an LCS. Eventually, the hull was flipped upside down to enable better welds on the aluminum. It would seem the Navy and its contractors have had a long and less than illustrious history with aluminum hulls and superstructures.

I guess that should have been termed “monkey crud”. Silly PC stuff just plays *&!@$#*& with standard military slang!

I was on a Gearing class DD836 and after 30 years she had some leakage. We could hit 34 knots with 4 boilers and superheaters lit. The Navy has went down hill since 1945 when the 836 was built. If these ships now being made are not seaworthy than yes they should scrap them or at the very minimal someone in the Navy and Lockheed Martin should go to jail for ripping the taxpayers off. If these ships are being put out to sea without being totally shaken down and being accepted I believe heads should be rolling off to jail.

NO, no jail for upper level executives these days. The norm in these situations is BONUSES!

From what I read over on Salamander’s blog, the cracks are actually above the weld, and come from the super structure flexing. The problem seems to be more one of metal fatigue. I guess the aluminum alloy used was one that is stiffer, and therefor even more brittle than that used in the Ticos.

Always good to see painful lessons being relearned, and not even a full generation later.

If you didn’t want them to screw you, you shouldn’t have paid them more to do it.

The entire purpose of the LCS program is to be a warning to all the other programs.

You are correct as far as the materials go getting into detail, you could also get into x ray as done on a lot of criticals welds and on nuclear systems. My major point is most inspectors dont know what they are looking at due to lack of experiance and I have seen a lot of pretty welds that are/were junk underneath the surface. A lot of the cracks were on the welds or adjacent due to the metal getting too hot making it brittle ( possibly because the welder kept burning through and building up to cover his mistake.

I know it’s ancient history, but Thresher, SSN 593 was a first– in– class vessel too

The all aluminum can be tricky, but there are about 200 tons of fire structure and better automated firefighting systems than on the Belknap. Besides, it tends to be the aluminum on steel structures that crack. The different bending motions of the two materials lead t some nasty results. The Independence faces some challenges, but they should be markedly different than Freedom’s.

It is time to shift to composite superstructures.

“New or old, isolated or widespread, POGO’s documents and its letter to the Hill probably will do little to arrest the momentum of LCS. The program is too far along, too much money already has been spent, and the Navy has made up its mind to make the ships work, no matter what.”

That’s because it won’t be the admirals sitting behind desks in Washington, who push and approve this super whammydyne stuff so they can retire to cushy defense contracting jobs, who will have to maintain and fix these ships when they break. That’s up to the overworked, overdeployed, undermanned and underpaid enlisted 2nd Class Hull technician who is actually on the ship being pressured to maintain it inport so that it can meet it’s operational commitments.….or trying to fix it at sea so that it doesn’t sink underneath him.

But the Submarine force quickly reacted and instituted new programs to keep it from reoccuring rather than just contiuing on.

Well isn’t that sweet toothless and falling apart. Oh well just another LA built ship. DE-1080 USS Paul was built in 1971, she had cracks show up in her in 1972 on the main deck in the passageway just forward of the mess decks. Stand in the chow line and watch the crack grow. The ships crew welded it shut and it didn’t grow any more. It was built in New Orleans area also. Avandale if memory serves me correctly.

Even the proven Burke Class Destroyers had problems. Burke had cracks in fuel tanks as well did Barry that required us to stay in France several extra days to repair. The Shaft Control Units used to light up light christmas trees and require us to take manual control of all online equipment and reset. We nicknamed Arleigh Burke USS Always Broke. We had an engine stall and subsequent removal after leaving the yards the second time. But you overcome these problems and you deal with them. New cars get recalled, you cant recall a ship you simply fix the problem.

The Lockheed LCS is built at Marinette in Wisconsin. You can salvage your regional bias opinion, though. The other LCS, the aluminum trimaran, is built down Mobile way, if I recall. It also has lots of troubles, and doesn’t sail much. In fact, friends of that effort may be behind this hatchet job of the Lockheed ship…Really…It could happen :)

As I recall, while showing my age, the Forrest Sherman class of DD’s built in the 50’s had aluminium superstructures mated to steel hulls; their main problem was dissimilar metal erosion at the joints. These ships gave 30 plus years of good service. The Spruance class was pushing 30 years for most hulls when the USN decided to decommission them almost en-masse. I was production officer and lead ship superintendent for the construction of USS Ticonderoga.…the dissimilar erosion problem had been solved years before.…we still had no shortage of ‘experts’ giving ‘technical opinions’ , mostly indirectly through newspapers, that the ships would fall apart.….if they didn’t capsize first from all the topside weight.

Lockheed Martin states that this recent report by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) “was just a rehash of old stuff, problems diagnosed awhile ago and for which fixes were already in place or in the works.” Well, as the follow on FREEDOM class ships get turned over to the navy, the truth will come out. If true, we should not see a repeat of the lead ship problems on the follow-on ships. However, as with any complex “machine” of this size, some new (hopefully very minor) problems will of course arise. I hope that LM and the navy are telling the truth, because their credibility at present is questionable. We need to be saying “don’t tell me – show me.

well… Italian is still non– American.

true… don’t outsource defense design and building.

Build these types of ships in Bath, Maine where good ships are built like the USS Mobile (LKA-115 ) was built. She is now in the mothball fleet in Phildalphiia. The Bath Ironworks builds ships t o last 30+ years. unlike the ships built on the West Coast or down South IMHO. Gator sailor forever!

The LCS mafia would be an interesting study in organizational and social behavior.

Any rational person can see what a huge mistake the LCS program is but yet there are those in the Navy (and outside of) who continue to dig in their heels and deny reality in spite of the vast overwhelming evidence.

There must be other ‘pressures’ that we are not aware of at work here, or how else can one explain the irrational behavior which, by all measures, would be ‘clinging to a sinking sink’ career-wise actions, that certain leaders exhibit.

Does anyone have any explanations or insights?

There are ways to “x-ray” rivets and welds. But a contractor told me about hitting the rivets with a sledge hammer to simulate the apropriate level of sress for the inspectors. 30 years later there are still ways to get inferior products into the hands of our servicemen and women. Thank you Congress and the bureaucracy.

This is nothing new. I have friends in the ship yard in WI, there have been many redesigns as the ships are built because of engineering design problems, especially with the design built in LA. Going back at least to WWII, the Navy has been re-designing junk. The T-2 fuel ships broke in-half at the welds just behind the superstructure in the cold north Atlantic, so the navy cut them in half and welded in the mid-ship from another T-2 to make T-3s, which now had two welds on which to break. I worked with T-3s in the late ’60’s and the most impressive thing about them was the number of patches and re-welded cracks on the decks and hull to superstructure, and these were all steel vessels.

They had design problems that caused development to drag out? You don’t say. Hell, if I didn’t know better, I’d think they were working on a contract that pays them $1.10 for every $1.00 they spend dragging that program out. I mean, that’s pure speculation on my part. I don’t absolutely know that to be true. Sure seems suspicious how often that very thing happens with that kind of contract though. I’m just sayin’.

see, they ARE learning !

: ) : )

but just not what the Navy wants them to learn.

in a word:

lots of jobs ! !

OK, actually 3 truthful words.

Maybe they need to remove some of the weight from the ship’s topside superstructure and maybe go back to the old expansion joint that was on the DD-692 class ship. I was on the DD-872 for seven years we developed a crack in the underwater hull in number two engine about eight inches long it would leak in rough weather they welded a patch on it when we were in dry dock in Subic Bay in 1969 as far as I know we said that ways for a few years). Has anyone check with other navies of the world that has aluminum superstructures to see if they have this same problem. From the experience I had when I was in the navy (the navy always has a habit of closing the barn door after the bull has already got out) they don’t try and prevent anything just let it happen then fix it. We have too many people trying to solve the problem who don’t really know what a ship look like except on paper

It is quite obvious the “Welding Process” is faulty! The bigger question would be why is it still allowed, to reflect such a BIG increase in this type of Hull Fracturing.… Could it also be possible.…that our quality has disappeared in the Steel Industry as well? Could Our steel be imported, or reduced in quality, “DURING MANUFACTURE”????? Something stinks, and the smell has already been around too long. Just a thought or two? At one tie it was said within the Steel Industry the IRON ORE used in Oriental steel was at fault for the rust factor/steel breakdown in most of the steel used in the Far East Countries?

Yeah Boomer and I’m glad they did, I was on the 607 boat

BIW’s standards are too high to have one of these abortions seen on their slip-ways.

The design, concept, manning, and mission modules for these are a disaster. Freedom commissioned four years ago, and hasn’t done a real deployment. When she does deploy (supposedly next year), she won’t even have a real mission module, just what ever the Navy cobbles together to chase pirates. As small as the Navy is and is projected to be for the next 30 years, we can’t afford a ship that has to be relieved on station by a real warship if Iran or China says “boo”. For the cost of 55 LCS we can get 24 DDGs. Scrap the mission modules, fill the extra space with extra fuel tanks, a brig, and another berthing compartment, paint an orange stripe on the bow and send them to the Carribean to chase drug smugglers for the Coast Guard. Cancel all that aren’t already under construction.

We used to have large industrial base in this country. Take a look at what we accomplished during WW2. But, since the 50’s we have become a service based economy. We don’t really know how to build good quality goods anymore. Between the Govt. and the American work force ( I don’t mean everybody) they just want to pump out products. And it’s gotten to the point that quality isn’t important only quantity. It’s going to stay that way until this country takes pride in it’s products produces. That means anything from Hamburgers to major construction items.

Right or wrong, the one thing I am truely sick and tired of hearing is ” the program is too far along to cancel” granted, we may lose some money now, but it’s a lot better than feeding the money pit that each and every one of the military branches continually does. Here is a sugguestion, why don’t we just do the right thing for the good of our country?

Metal fatigue — here’s the deal Aluminum has about 10,000 hours of operational life in a minimal fatigue environment — 1 — 3,000 in a higher stress environment. BUT there are 24 hours in a day, and 360 in a year (8600 + hrs ). So, a naval aircraft might see 1,000 hours per year, but a ship will see closer to 5000 hours per year. And, in a development program, the fatigue environment is more intense, so 3 months between cracks would not be unexpected. So, the question should be “May I have a copy of the fatigue/fracture plan” Whereupon the validity, competence, and completeness of the design effort can be quantified and factually evaluated.

BOOMER, most of the welding is done by computers and robots. Mabe we should get rid the damn robots.

Unfortunately the Mobile, along with her sister ships, we’re built at Newport News Shipyard. Great ships, none the less!

Hum, I seem to remember a Tico cruiser (Thomas S. Gates) built at BIW has a bow put on that was 3 to 6 degrees off. We called her old crooked nose.

The Lockheed Martin variant of the LCS has a lightweight high-strength steel hull and an aluminum superstructure. The other variant is all composite. Which ship is more survivable? That remains to be seen. However, faced with a tight design-to-cost budget, albeit surpassed, and an Objective requirement for 50 knots, your choices are pretty limited because of weight to power ratios. You could use Titanium if you could afford it, I suppose.

After years of studying this design, I believe the stress to the front of this vessel is due to the nose to girth ratio. The bow is too long to be supported by the rest of the ship. A quick fix is to place an extended bow underneath the current bow, a false bow if you will. Admittedly, this will slow the ship, but will decrease the stress by about 40%, thus eliminating the “wobble” and will take the load off the bi-metal intersections. Blame it on design, not the welding.

It’s Bush’s fault

lots of jobs for congressional districts equal more power to the congressmen equal more votes equal more power equal more votes, etc etc

But how you explain flag officers (who are supposed to be smart and savy) who stand behind this program? It seems to me that whomever ties their wagon to this sinking ship is putting their prestige and career at great risk.

it’s too hard to do the right thing and too easy to do the wrong thing

Here we go again. Aluminum in the superstructure. Those (idiots) who toss asside the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. Guess Washington admirals have forgotton about the cruiser Belnap. Collided with the Kennedy, and the resulting fires essentially melted her aluminum superstructure. Or what about the British and the Falkland Islands? Can you say “Sheffield” ? Jeez, even the Army learned about aluminum bodies with their Bradleys…

No sir, when it comes to the Navy, the Freedom’s hull isn’t the only thing that’s cracked…

Ah’m just sayin’ …

Cool .…this is just recent or the top level decision makers have no experience what so ever in shipbuilding? .… geee.… in a time of economical stress making such bad calls is putting nails in the coffin and the hammer in enemies hands.
… with decision like that no wander people are saying that the US is in decline.

Not totally appropriate to the subject, but as a plankowner on the USS America, CVA-66, after commissioning (23 Jan 65), right after sea trials we went through one hell of a hurricane on our maiden voyage to the Mediterranean, and the stern was lifted completely out of the water. This resulted in our limping into the shipyard in Genoa, Italy to have the shaft bearings replaced. There were also persistent rumors from the “snipes” below deck that we cracked the hull. Don’t know if it was true, as it did stay in service, although decommissioned earlier than carriers much older than her. Suspicious to me also, was that she was promptly towed out to sea off Norfolk and torpedoed until sunk.. One would have thought that with a name like “America”, she would have been mothballed or made into a museum. Perhaps they didn’t want anyone to know we had a degraded major vessel right after it was built.

Way too late to change course on these sleek high tech gunboats. Cut the procurement 1/2 and work on a Block II LCS, with all that’s been learned to date (stretched to accomodate a real air defense capability (ESSM), up gun to 76mm and added buoyancy. Plus, give the Marines a mortar version.

How many times do we have to re-learn the aluminum superstructure (or hull) problem? When the JFK hit a cruiser and the jet fuel fire burned the superstructure into slag, “no more aluminum.” When an exocet did similar damage to a frigate, we spent billions to retrofit Kevlar armor.

So the LCS can go “real fast.” Not sure it can do anything but the “non-warfighting” missions when it gets there, at least for the next decade until they get some decent mission modules.

If the crack is below waterline there is a possibility, that this problem is about the transition or continuity of strength member or lack of intersecting carlings along the line of welding groves or sometimes welding increment intersecting structural member are lack of scallop holes.

Funny how our ships didn’t have design problems like that when the Navy designed them themselves instead of having defense contractors do it. So let’s see, ships cost more, take longer, and they’re crap once built, but God forbid we should ever go back to the way we used to design ships. Yeah, that’s the kind if brilliance we can expect from the Navy these days.

Hell, it’s not “lots of jobs”. If that were the case, why would the defense sector be continuing to lose jobs? The real answer is that it is a lot of your tax dollars going to some rich dudes who are then willing to kick back some of that free money to the congressmen who voted them the money in the first place. It’s a self sustaining cluster f.

Oh hell, we know how to build good stuff. The only reason defense contractors don’t is because it pays better not to. Hell, if you didn’t want them to screw you, why did you pay them more to do just that?

If they want to, the Navy could have Lockheed use the “spin welding” technique they used on the space shuttle main tank. It was an aluminum-lithium alloy and could only be welded that way. Using that process, the welds are as strong as the parent metal as the welds are forged in that process not cast as with other welding methods. The problem is, the welds are not the problem.

The CVA 66 lasted 40 years which is about the life expectancy of a CV. She decommissioned early because the Navy wanted to transition to an all nuclear carrier fleet. That is why the newer Kitty Hawk class oil burners were all decommissioned while the older nuclear powered Enterprise was given a refit to keep it in service for a few more years.

ah yes,FFG 7 class extended hull against the desire of the builders, riginal engineers, put a stress on the alum. deck house, but NEVER EVER any cfracks were reported in the steel hulls. (Designed by BIW)
The Ticonderogas have a huge alum deck house with not enough expansion joints to allow flexing of the hull verses the deckhouse, (poor designs by Ingalls) Spruances, same issue lesson not learned ( build by Ingalls) DDG 51 class not alum deck house, only the mast is made of alum. NOreports of any ddeck house cracking .(designed by BIW )
continued next post

continued from previous posting —
NOTE: a Ingalls build DDG 51 CLASS ship rfecently had the top 14 feet of their alum welded mast fell completely off, resulting in major rer-cableing . cause:Poor quality alum welding LOF , lack of fussion , welded and inspected and accepted by INGALLS, and INGALL Sup Ship, QA.

USS ZUMWALT DDG 1000, currently under construction at BIW, BATH, MAINE, All steel hull, HY-80, HSLA, and steel 2″ thick in the hull, BUT .…..INGALLS is designing and building a extremly delicate

yes they [INGALLS] has a great reputation to live up to even as a newly re-organize shipyard, their recent fuba was a alum stick mast falling off a newly built DDG 51 class ship.….





GEE, MAYBE THAT’S WHY THE NEW DDG 1000 USS Zumwalt will have a composite deck house ?????

YES, BUILT AT A NAVY SHIPYARD, NOT A PRIVATE SHIPYARD, and there were almost no QA inspection of piping welds, only the pressure hull welds were inspected .….…


that’s interesting Dennis, can you tell us more?

The Navy could have saved a lot of money by admitting the LCS is not a warship, use existing high speed cats like those used in the Aegean Sea with plenty of room to put containerized mission modules…oh yeah, those are running late and dont live up to expectations either. Stay close to port like the USCG and relieve real warships of minor coastal duties. Navy will spend unquantifiable resources trying to make these ship appear survivable instead of recognizing, like the PT boats, they provide a cheap swarm offense but cannot take hits. Need to go back to reality in sizing corvettes and frigates instead of building 9000+ ton ships and calling them destroyers!

The problem is not in the design, the problem is in the workmanship and quality control.

I am brad gill I was a RM I had fun. I was the Georgia dawg in the navy 1984 to 1988

I am brad gill I was in the navy 1984 to 1988. I was in the reserves made e5 radioman 1990 to 1992

that is pure trash !!! it is in the weld They do not have proper fushion , I got it down!! fixed my 18m vessel X ray All pass

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