LCS Crew Discovers Seawater in Freedom’s Lube-Oil

LCS Crew Discovers Seawater in Freedom’s Lube-Oil

Maintenance crews are working to repair faulty lube-oil  coolers on board the USS Freedom, the Navy’s first Littoral Combat Ship, less than two weeks since it docked in Singapore as part of the services’ first-ever LCS deployment.

The Freedom’s crew reported that seawater had gotten into the ship’s lube-oil placing the Freedom at risk, officials said. Crew members discovered the water after it took lube-oil samples, said Lt. Anthony Falvo, Pacific Fleet spokesman.

“The crew reported a problem with a faulty lube-oil cooler. The coolers use seawater to cool the lube oil in the ship’s propulsion systems. The lube oil passes through tubes in the ships propulsion system.  They get very hot.  Seawater is used to rush over those tubes to cool it down a bit,” Falvo said.

Navy officials say this kind of malfunction has, on occasion, happened on other ships as well but stressed that no crew members were ever in harm’s way.

“Although the failures are infrequent, it’s not unusual that these pumps would fail from time to time. This was not an incident where there was flooding on the ship or the ship was taking on water. The crew was never in danger,” said Falvo.

Additional maintenance personnel are on route to the ship from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Program Executive Office and Lockheed Martin. The necessary repair parts are already in Singapore.

The ship utilizes two Rolls Royce MT-30 Gas Turbines, two Fairbanks Morse Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, and four Rolls Royce Kamewa 153SII waterjets, he said.

The Freedom requested outside assistance from the Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Pacific, Falvo said.

“It’s important that we fully examine the problem. They’re assessing the issue now and they are working quickly to repair the issue,” he explained.

The incident is not expected to adversely impact the deployment schedule for the Freedom, which is slated to participate in an exhibition by the middle of May.

The upcoming conference and exhibition, called the International Maritime Defense Exhibition Asia (IMDEX), include international defense industry events to assess the latest in maritime technologies.

Along these lines, the Navy’s LCS program is designed to bring next-generation technology for near-shore surface and undersea maritime security and combat missions, service officials have said.

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“Crew members discovered the water after it took crude oil samples, said Lt. Anthony Falvo, Pacific Fleet spokesman.”

“Crude oil” Typo or misquote?

No crude oil on a LCS, diesel only. But.….the lubrication oil does get rather “cruddy” with sea-water in it! :)
Disappointing that discovering “Water in Oil” is not a monitoring requirement and is only accomplished on a sample schedule; there is cheap technology that alarms that but does not prevent it. An inexpensive monitor could have switched the coolers and not risk damaging the gas turbines, diesels and jet drives. :(


“The ship utilizes two Rolls Royce MT-30 Gas Turbines, two Fairbanks Morse Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, and four Rolls Royce Kamewa 153SII waterjets, he said.” That’s a lot of equipment for a small core crew to operate and maintain. Not to mention that LCS-1 also has 4 small diesel’s for generating electricity. Can’t imagine keeping the fuel day tanks topped off, the diesel fuel filtered, moving fuel around with FO transfer pumps, sampling fuel, replenishing fuel every day or two, doing Planned PMS and corrective CMS, etc. 8 engines and 4 waterjets alone would require half the core crew of LCS-1. Too much “stuff” stuffed into a hull with not much weapons stuff. For only 3,000 tons, this corvette sports 8 engines !! Who designed this ?

LCS, the gift that keeps on giving. This is why the LCS should be scrapped

A navy that wanted it to go 50 knots.

Certainly, when it came to designing LCS, a certain Admiral Rube Goldberg was involved…

We should switch to the production of a new frigate instead of the LCS. Yet those already built or in construction can still be put to good use providing they fix the stuff like this. There is a lot of space on these ships and a large hanger deck, good for deploying unmanned assets and multi-role MH-60s.

I keep looking for the connection between the LCS program and the F-35 program. Was it Admiral Rube Goldberg or LM or??? Whatever the case may be, they both just keep on giving.……

Lube oil pressure is kept higher than sea water pressure, in most systems. The sea water/lube oil cooler is secures when the system is not operating. Bet this is an automatic system vice the good old throttle the cooler outlet valve manually system. No BIG thing…they caught the leak, cooler tubes can be replaced or plugged. Not even news. I had a lube oil cooler on a Knox Class Frigate with the same problem one or twice.

We should focus on the over all capabilities of the LCS, it’s manning levels, and it’s combat systems. Still I call them Little Crappy Ships. MMCS(SW)(SS) USN Ret.

It could be that some sailor used the oil reservoir as a urinal to get extra liberty.

USS Barry DDG-52, less than a year old brand new destroyer, had our main lube oil cooler fail while and inspection team was onboard. Mixing seawater with our main lube oil. We had to lock the shaft and pull back in port. It happens, anything mechanical will fail

this is not a big deal, it can and does happen w/ lots of diesel engines used for marine use. what “IS” a big deal is the amount of personnel in the engineering division they could stand a few more snipes. really makes me angry that we are using equipt. from other nations when we are shutting down facilities in the USA. there is a law that is supposed to stop using materials from outside that is not enforced.

The waterjets are probably for precision maneuvering, the two gas turbines (fast) and two diesels (fuel economy) to meet both speed and range specs. I’m trying to remember if the MT30’s can consume diesel, as that would mean one fuel store or two fuel stores.

Bear in mind paired MT-30’s are also used on the DDG-1000. Probably thought they could get a better deal from Rolls Royce by using the turbines on more than one class of ship.

LCS is in line to receive fluid monitoring systems. They were not in the original design, but LM has had their condition based maintenance system (OCCULUS) aboard the ship all this time. Seems like those sensors don’t already cover fluid monitoring. That’s a bit of a surprise to me.

HEY!…it’s got a really cool new camo paint job! Looks kinda like a PT Boat…That’s one cool lookin’ ship, boy-oh-boy, I tell ya’ that camo paint job sure is cool lookin’…
LCS = Lookin’ Cool Ship…

kinda like that guy at Portsmouth thinkin’ hey if theres smoke, they will let us go home early & I can see my girl.….….

Your right brad on the paint job, just think how excited the Boy Scouts will be on their sleep over on board. Kinda a embarrs. 4 the USA that She breaks down on the maiden voyage! That will sure shore up or allies confidence in us!

I can’t wait for the model 2 come out.… does look really cool, has a beautiful hull shape & superstructure!

GSM1: was that on trials, or were u deployed?

Zincs again. LM never instituted proper zinc maintenance on these from day one.

Not sure what the MT-30’s drink but the ships have two stores because the MH-60 uses JP-5.

There are two clases of the LCS. the one in Singapore is the LM design. The other is a tri-hull built by Austal in Mobile, Al. Havent heard about any problems with the two ships that Austal has delivered.

The military always needs reminder from a M-9to a LCS ALWAYS LUBE LOL Joke!!!

When oil is contaminated with water and then hits a locally hot working surface such as the working surface of a gear tooth, the water can flash to steam and push the lubricating oil off of that hot surface that needed the oil for cooling and lubrication. Nothing good comes from that.

Ouch. I’m in NH, and well, that sub ain’t going anywhere anytime soon…*BUT*, at least it’s job security for the 4,000 Portsmouth Navy Shipyard workers…and a great opportunity/cover, for some really cool “upgrades”…The arsonist DID get a 16-year Fed. prison sentence…thnx, KrazyCol…

SHhhhh!, KrazyCol, don’t spill the beans…All this feigned incompetence is a *ruse* — a “trick” — to make our enemies think we’re incompetent, and so embolden them into making rash moves, which will tip their hand, and allow our SPECOPS teams to spank them hard…it’s all a genuius-level PLAN by the JCS, and the “Pacific Pivot” is the keystone of the STRATEGY…Ya just gotta think strategicklee, KrqazyCol…I’m hoping our local BSA Troop gets a berth on one o’them sleepovers…I sure bought enuff of their darn candy bars fundraisers!…

LCS 1 is Freedom-class, above… LCS 2 is the other, Independence-class trimaran hull…
SecNav Mabus recently announced that LCS 14 will be the Manchester, named after Manchester, NH…
They’re both classed as “LCS”, but they are 2 VERY different designs, and makers…So far, Austal seems very competent…they also did the HSV Swift, with similar materials,etc., but a catamaran hull design…
HSV Swift is currently payloading a unit of USMC on Global training missions…I’d rather focus on what works, and small failures will always be part of the path to success…

And the ship’s engines are totally able to run on JP-5 as well. Ship fuel is pretty much the same as aviation JP-5 except not as well filtered/tested

And the Knox class ships only cost $27 Million each. They displaced 4,200 tons and had a 5″ 54 caliber rapid fire gun that put out 36 rounds a minute.

“that no crew members were ever in harm’s way.” Oh the irony of the statement by the talking heads

just wait until they have to defend themselves-from anything including a guy on a rowboat with a AK-47

…a “guy on a rowboat with a AK-47″ will quickly become “chum”, for either the CWIZ, or the several guys manning the .50cals…What Century did you row in from?…a little “dinghy”, ain’t ya’…???…


We should have switched to the Frigate cause the LCS is a money pit and full of problems. I bet ya every Corvette ship captain must be laughing their @ss off over this.

The article said “lube-oil samples”. It was a mis-read, not a misprint.

I suppose if they were crazy enough, they could use a different engine other than a diesel and try to run multiple engines on a unified fuel source. Replace a diesel with a normal Otto-cycle piston engine, switch to turbine when speed is required.

Though not sure if a standard piston engine can run JP-5. But what benefit is there from having “joint” fuel instead of the present turbines (MT30 for ship, T700 for the helicopter) and diesels?

That’s a new acronym!

Hm, I wonder why the sudden shift by the Navy from LM 2500 to MT 30’s?

Zumwalt and Independence are getting MT30’s, Freedom still has LM 2500’s, along with the Burkes.

Not sure if this is part of keeping one company from getting a monopoly, or some kind of welfare trick to keep two engine companies alive?

The issue is neither GE or RR is going to be seriously hurt if the other gets all of the business, so I don’t think monopoly logic factors in here. So why they have abandoned the domestic built and already in service en masse LM2500 is confusing. Also, the Freedom has the MT30s and the Independence has LM2500s.

Ack, mixing up my classes again.

What are these guys doing?? Every sailor knows that the lube oil goes in the potable water, not sea water in the lube oil.

Obviously the article was updated…

LOL I imagine the seawater contaminated lube oil looked a little like crude oil.

No danger to crew, until enough seawater displaces the oil and the oil gets pushed out the vent tubes / sounding tubes.

whooooa!!!!!! very volative stuff to carry, let along in a AL hull ship! like being on a AOE or AO!

Why didn’t Austral (?) use a multi-fuel turbine design?

the deisel engines are more than likely the ships emergency deisels used only for emergeny power.

This is LockMart’s ship, not Austal’s, and both of them are multi-fuel turbines. Both the Rolls-Royce MT30 and GE LM2500 are multi-fuel gas turbines. And yes, you can indeed run a diesel on Jet Fuel (Kerosene), the army does it with most of it’s trucks to simplify logistics.

Fincantieri makes the diesel generators.

Lots of un-American supplier names.

The turbine will run on whatever you feed it. I didn’t think you could feed JP-5 to a diesel, though I suppose it requires changes to timing to reduce knock, but it could be done. Even putting regular gas in an automotive diesel appears to cause problems, though it doesn’t mean it cannot be designed to run on the stuff.

Re the army, the Abrams has a gas turbine. The Humvees are piston diesel engines, as the Bradley, HEMTT, etc.

But why not diesel to all of its units…?

Mikail, there are also four Fincantieri diesel generators.

2x Gas turbine
2x diesel engines
4x generators
4x waterjets

I don’t know about this new navy but when I was an MM in the old navy I had my crew draw a lube oil same at the start of each watch and it was set on the desk in the engine room so that the top watch could check it with in a few minutes after it was taken. just one simple glass bottle and about 10 minutes might have caught this before the people on the repair crew did.
i know thing has gone to depend on fancy electronic equipment, but a little common sense goes a long way too

They chose jet fuel because gas turbines in the Abrams and Helos take a performance hit on diesel, while diesel engines when modified work fine on Jet fuel with no impact. Also, it allows the Air Force and Army to have one unified fuel supply system, greatly simplifying logistics.

your right brad, he got justice, a rare quanitiy 2 day! I worked for GD on 688’s & 726’s fine ships! I took great pride in toing that!, being in a Army RC at the time as well. As far as the boat: 650mil. + cost overuns lets call it 800 mil. for a 20 y/o hull?, yeah great for job security at a NSY, but as far as cost/benefit.……ahhhhh the heck with it I gotta take my meds!

A global mission no doubt with a long line of log support 4 it, unless its based in Oz with a B & G crew manning sys. A stand alone ship.…heck no! A 20 y/o anti-ship missle weapon sys can take it out w/o a huge “elint” support mini fleet, its target practice for a class of newly commissioned class of arty ground pounders from Ft. Sill w/155mm howitzers!.….in direct fire mode.

a ma duece vs a al hulled ship, ma duece winner 1st round!

thanks 4 doin that, it helped buy the pinewood derby car kits, as far as the WASTEPAC pivot, what happens, when there are cross border clashes btxix Turkey & Syria, & the Kurds feelin’ their new “oates” want a piece, spurned on by our coverts or the Rusky’s or the Iranians? OOOPs, POTUS Obama kinda skirted that in his briefing, darn no telepromters! & Then the wild card Israel! Stand up the 6th fleet again? ala 1972 w/POTUS Nixon vs Breznev when the IDF cut off the Egyptian Army in the Sinai? I think this one falls under the nightmare of asymetrical warfare.…..having attended a briefing at graduation at USNWC.…… that wasn’t on “the break-out session” workshops.….…we got green bennies & covert ops all over the place NOW, it should have been 2 1/2 y/o when Erogdan was cryin’ wolf.……but Israel is our most staunchest ally in the m.e.,.…..only time will tell

Let’s take a look-back in 2033, and see how the LCS ROI turned out…patience!…688’s & 726’s, huh…???…I ferget which class got torched at Portsmouth, but, yeah, they got the bastard…and, yeah, SecNav can be dumb, but would the Navy *really* pass up such a good chance to install some “special upgrades”…???…Like, um, tube-launched, manned SPECOPS insertion cannisters…???…lol…(…i think i took TOO MUCH meds, mebbe…lol…thnx, KrazyCol…

That makes no sense in the New Navy. Instead we use a computer to do the job only cost several thousand dollars. Of course the sensors can never fail.…its networked after all.

But in all seriousness the crew is Massively understaffed. Too small of crew to much work to be done means they skip things they believe they can.

Unfortunately the sea is a unforgiving bitch sometimes. And Murphy is always ready.

well bman, what about the tridents? how many tubes verus the “upgraded 688’s” U don’t even know the difference btix a 726 class & a 688 class & u work at a NSY? I think ur a chinese “plant” go too the nearest NCIS facility & turn ur self in.….…..I feel the meds workin’ now! I’m more clear headed!

Quit runnin’ so fast…I’m followin’ ya, but I gotta keep stoppin’ to *THINK*…The LCS 2 class is made by Austal, so our cooperation w/Australia is strengthened, giving us better SoPac toeholds…mebbe the “wastepac” pivot is to shorten lines to Diego Garcia?…we don’t need GPS, we need G-Re-PS…look how chill Rus was over the Cyprus bank heist…Putin will play ball, we let the CCP get some sea legs, and the ChiRusUSA Dragon&Eagles fly with the bear…Global stabilization is in EVERYBODY’s interest…we need more asymetrical tacticians and esp. strategisticians…CONUS-based…know any…???…

…i never implied, but U inferred my “employment”…If NCIS don’t know me by now, *THEY* are the ChiComs…I’m Army, with a streak of USMC, and I build *models*…I’m working on a 1/350scale LCS 2…and a 1/72 Gato-class…and just started an M1070…go easy on me, Col, OK…???…(…&any time there’s a story on Yaho! about HHDalai Lama, you should see the ChiCom *PLANTS* sprout like weeds…a couple rounds of FREE*TIBET always sends ‘em packin’…can I still keep my “rideslegacy773 moniker, pls.…???…The diff. btix Ohio & L.A. is about 3,000kms…*grin*…wouldn’t a Quadent be one better…???…

You sometimes wonder whether the USS Freedom was designed to actually work or whether it was supposed to be a semi-functional prototype like the space shuttle Enterprise which was never used for any missions even after the lost of Challenger.

We know you write a damn fine CASREP, Joe t., in fact, they’re so good, SecNav HIMSELF had ‘em all classified, so the OTHER guys wouldn’t get an inferiority complex from admiring your excellent CASREP writing skills. Fact is, Joe t,. you’ve stmbld-upon a joint NRO/DIA/DARPA humint training exercise. We’re supposed to be sim-tasking a detref cabal engaged in cyberspillage, just to see if the USB flashdrive annointment holds 4G charge in CBR/NBC environs. The PRK has been jamming Ahmer-Dinner-Jabbers’ centrifuges, and it’s getting “cold” in Chile, if ya know what I mean. Loose FITTINGS leak shifts, and *SHIFT* 4 awl CAPS. OK? The RR MT-30 GT’s have a JP4/biodiesel switch. *THAT* is why LCS 1 is in Singapore. We didn’t tell you, because BuPers has some good news 4 U. Check-in w/OSDRS/WHMO, and you should be good-to-go. Thanks for the heads-up, Joe t., even the best scuttlebutt finds a bilge rat up it, once in a while.…
They are BOTH 688’s, OK, KrazyCol…???…

Not as embarassing as when the first C-5 did a low pass over the active in Charleston and one of the 6 wheel trucks fell off in front of Strom Thurmond, Dick Cheney, and whole bunch of AF brass. It made the 6:30 national news.

Better look further into this. usually the L/O cooler is cooled by the jacket water, and the J/W by sea water. Check the S/W pump and oil and water seals on that pump. Also is the cooler a plate or tube type? Tube type must have laminer flow not turbulent flow. Look deep.

Industry designed it… loose requirements established by the Navy and profit-driven industry designed and built the ships. Maintenance will be conducted by contracted off ship personnel ~ ~ profit driven expense ~ ~ this is only the beginning.…

probably a good time to allow the system to evaluate the failure to determine cause and effect, but don’t be surprised if this is a tube(s)/tube sheet failure from erosion based on descoping performance requirements to meet acquisition cost; READ: commercial grade v. mil-spec

I read somewhere, I believe in this column, that the navy has “teams” to run out and fix problems like this. I guess that this little costly beast doesn’t employ lube oil purifiers, sight flow indicators, or the crew that recognizes a problem, but more importantly; how to fix it. we are training our engineers how to look good in spiffy cammies and push buttons in an engineering plant, but not remedy mechanical failures. “if in doubt run in circles scream and shout.” mmcs (sw) retired

” it took crude oil samples” . I think it was a miss quote. “Crew members discovered the water after it took lube-oil samples,”

Well, unless it pertains to a certain recently-troubled Cruise Line operator, I’m almost willing to bet today’s commercial-grade maritime hardware standards are more durable than the LCS’ ~mil-spec~ systems…
Commercial systems need to be reliable to be profitable for a company.
Milspec systems? Gotta keep those profits rolling in for the defense contractors somehow.
We want to believe our fighting men and women get the best technology money can buy, but if the LCS is any indication of milspec engineering’s ~newest and best~, then maybe more competion open to commerical sources who actually are building reliable hardware is the way to start going.

The Rube Goldberg link between LCS and F-35 is called an admiral.

Globalization and all those free trade agreements is killing the U.S. Stop shopping at WalMart and LockMart.

I’m waiting from some of those Southeast Asia pirates to test whether the LCS can fight. A couple of James Bond style RPV’d cigar boats to cause a distraction until the LCS is out of ammo. Singapore’s new corvettes will have to chase the pirates off because they certainly won’t be scared of an American toy ship, especially if its pierside fixing because it doesn’t work.

The “repair” is a RUSE…The ship sits in port longer, which causes all the S.E.Asian spies to flock to it…
DIA/NRO/CIA all watch, and identify future drone food…It’s a variation of “run it up the flagpole, and see who salutes”…Works every time…

How about a catamaran design with fiber glass material version of LCS?

Sheer size of the LCS Independence-class catamarans (they’re trimarans, actually…), would mitigate against a fiberglass version. But, in a scaled-down design, fiberglass would be an excellent choice for an LCS MCM ship…(…Mine Counter Measures…)…
A wood frame, with fiberglass skin, could be a winning design, especially as it could be even faster…
And, being a more “low-tech”, labor-intensive design, it could also prove to be a great driver of new job creation and economic activity, at any of several shipyards…Also, a fiberglass hull could offer several advantages for elint & sigint gear…

Steel and stainless steel corrodes fast on sea water. Probably the best great thing is the applications of fibre-reinforced polymer composites material on future navy ships and boats.

Not the thread I initially wanted to put this (couldn’t find one of the more recent LCS discussions),
but on a distant note, hopes in the LCS world of perhaps foreign sales to Israel of an LCS derivative may well have just been run aground,
as it’s been announced they (Israel) have bee developing the SAAR-72 “mini corvette”,
looking like a quite capable attempt of packaging a quart of capability into a pint-sized container.
(if I may port in a link from a competitor news website…)

Have you heard of things such as apprenticeships in the security industry>?


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