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US Guided-Missile Cruiser Suffers Corrosion, Leaks

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

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Last week, the United States Naval Institute reported that one of its guided-missile cruisers was returned to port for a second time because of recent fuel leaks.

The USS Vella Gulf was underway for just one day.

What Happened

Previously, the USS Vella Gulf was scheduled for a deployment in mid-February as part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.

The Eisenhower CSG is currently operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet, according to the most recent USNI News Fleet Tracker. Several destroyers: USS Mahan (DDG-72); USS Mitscher (DDG-57); USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116); and USS Laboon (DDG-58) are operating with Eisenhower. Guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61) is also with the CSG.

However, after crewmembers found a leak while the USS Vella Gulf was in high seas, the ship was brought back to port at the Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. Arriving back at port on Feb. 26 for a technical assessment of the leak, the vessel underwent repairs for two weeks.

U.S. Naval Institute

Last week, the United States Naval Institute reported that one of its guided-missile cruisers was returned to port for a second time, as a result of recent fuel leaks.

According to the service report, the leak was attributed to “single tank corrosion.”

“USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) is underway today and will continue on its mission upon completion of repairs to the fuel oil tank,” Lt. Marycate Walsh said in a March 13 statement. “We are grateful for the technical experts and Vella Gulf sailors for their efforts to repair the ship in a timely manner.”

Although, not long after the underway, Walsh reported that the same oil tank was having issues.

“After getting underway, USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) returned to Naval Station Norfolk this afternoon for technical assessment of the repairs made to the ship’s fuel oil tank. More information will be provided once it becomes available,” a USNI spokesperson reported.

To further assess the corrosion, Walsh has indicated that personnel will need to evaluate the leak to know where it’s coming from, whether there is a new leak or if the ship’s recent repairs did not remain intact.

There have been no reports has to how long the repairs are slated to take.

Recent Ship & Vessel News

At the beginning of the month, Huntington Ingalls Industries announced that its Board of Directors elected Kari Wilkinson to serve as Executive Vice President of HII and President of HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division.

Wilkinson is the first woman president to lead the yard.

Before Wilkinson’s new role goes into effect on April 1, she will report to Kastner, as she continues to serve as Ingalls’ Vice President, Program Management. Wilkinson joined HII in 1996 as an associate naval architect. Since that time, she has supported major shipbuilding production events and milestones from positions in engineering, has worked closely with business development on requirements and preliminary ship designs for both domestic and international customers, and also coordinated the prioritization of equipment and processes in operations during the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort.

In January, global coatings company AkzoNobel announced its intent to increase its presence in the North American yacht coatings market with its acquisition of New Nautical Coatings. Established in 1978, the company is the owner of the premium Sea Hawk brand and supplies premium antifouling coatings, as well as several other products, such as primers and varnishes.

Although the privately-owned company operates out of a facility in Clearwater Beach, Florida, New Nautical Coatings is reported to be one of the top players in yacht coatings in North America, generating sales in the Caribbean and Australasia areas as well.

The company reports that the Sea Hawk brand has a high customer loyalty among yacht owners, shipyards and maintenance service providers due to its premium quality and product performance.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

At the end of September, USS Pasadena—a nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine—arrived in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia, where it was scheduled for a Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability.

The USS Pasadena, designated SSN 752, is the third naval vessel and first submarine so named in the United States Navy, named for the City of Roses. The Los Angeles-class submarine first took to sea in July 1991, and has completed missions in anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and strike warfare.

According to the U.S. Navy, the overhaul will require 113,000 workdays where work crews will replace, repair and overhaul components throughout the boat while in drydock. The project marks the Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s first DSRA in a decade.

The Navy goes on to report that the project team has spent the past several months coordinating with Ship’s Force, streamlining the work package and gleaning corporate lessons learned from other availabilities.

While officials have not specified how long the submarine would be in drydock, the project was reported to have gotten an early start over the last five months, with project teams conducting battery changes and upgrading the vessel’s radar system, among other performing duties that can be completed without the ship being in drydock.

Pasadena joins several significant projects on the NNSY waterfront, which includes USS George H.W. Bush’s (CVN 77) Drydocking Planned Incremental Availability, USS Harry S Truman’s (CVN 75) Extended Carrier Incremental Availability, and USS San Francisco (SSN 711), undergoing conversion into a Moored Training Ship.  Olson said the project team’s motto is “hit ‘em with a boom” to not only acknowledge the submarine’s capability, but also the project team’s urgency is driving to timely delivery alongside the shipyard’s other priorities.

   

Tagged categories: Corrosion; Government; NA; North America; Project Management; Quality Control; Rehabilitation/Repair; Ships and vessels; Shipyards; Tanks and vessels

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