The U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ships aren’t having a good year.
The USS Coronado is returning to Pearl Harbor from the Western Pacific after experiencing an "engineering casualty," the Navy said in a press release.
The Navy acknowledged mechanical issues with the USS Freedom, another littoral combat ship, just days before; however, the two problems appear to be unrelated.
On the Coronado, crew members reported seeing electricity arcing around the ship’s propulsion system. The extent of repairs is unknown at this time. There will be a full assessment of the underlying issues after the vessel makes its way back to Pearl Harbor. The ship is moving under its own power, with a speed restriction of 10 knots.
“The entire leadership team is focused on ensuring our ships are properly designed and built, and that our Sailors have the tools and training they need to safely and effectively operate these ships,” said Navy Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson in a prepared statement. “These ships bring needed capability to our combatant and theater commanders — we must get these problems fixed now."
Designed to operate close to shore, each littoral combat ship, the Navy's newest class of warship, costs $360 million.
The USS Coronado is the fourth ship of its kind to have reported engineering issues in less than a year. The USS Freedom, the USS Milwaukee and the USS Fort Worth all experienced engineering problems in 2016.
The USS Coronado deployed from San Diego to the Pacific two months ago with a crew of about 70 sailors. It had left Pearl Harbor three days before the incident.