Sidelined in Singapore, LCS Fort Worth Heads to San Diego for Repairs

A littoral combat ship that has been sidelined in Singapore since January after an "engineering casualty" will transit to San Diego for full repairs this summer, the Navy announced today.

The Fort Worth will spend several months preparing for the trip, including completing inspections, conducting lube oil system flushes, and configuring the ship's engineering plant, officials with U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a news release.

A spokesman for the fleet, Lt. Clint Ramsden, told Military.com that all aviation detachments and assets will also be removed from the ship to lighten the load and make it more fuel-efficient during the transit.

The cost estimate for the repairs to be completed has not been released.

The Fort Worth broke down Jan. 12 when the ship was damaged due to a failure to apply lubrication oil to the ship's combining gears. The Navy relieved the Fort Worth's commanding officer, Cmdr. Michael Atwell, March 28. An investigation into the incident remains under leadership review, Ramsden said. Final endorsement of findings is expected within a month.

The ship will transit through the Pacific to San Diego from Singapore using its gas turbine engines, a journey expected to take about six weeks, including replenishments underway and planned fueling stops, officials said in the release.

In deciding to conduct repairs in San Diego, "the primary factors considered were timeline, efficiency, and shipyard capability," Ramsden said. The work will be completed at General Dynamics Nassco's San Diego shipyard, as the company has an LCS sustainment contract.

Repairs to the Fort Worth will be conducted during the ship's previously scheduled maintenance period, minimizing disruption and reducing cost to the Navy, officials said in the release. It's remains undetermined whether the selected restricted availability with docking maintenance period will be extended in order to complete repairs.

Ramsden said the Navy has determined that the littoral combat ship Coronado is slated to succeed the Fort Worth in a rotational deployment to the Indo-Pacific region later this year, marking the first deployment for the Independence-class variant of the LCS.

The Fort Worth had been more than a year into a 16-month rotational deployment, hailed as a great success for the fledgling LCS program.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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