Shipbuilder Bath Iron Works has replaced one of the massive turbines on the future USS Michael Monsoor, and the stealthy destroyer is scheduled to depart for San Diego in November.
The delicate operation involved lifting and maneuvering the 15-ton Rolls Royce marine turbine out of the ship, and workers had to build a rail system to assist in the removal and installation of the replacement turbine in August, officials said.
‘The number of twists and turns it had to go through represented a pretty interesting engineering evolution,’ said shipyard President Dirk Lesko.
The future USS Michael Monsoor leaves Bath Iron Works for sea trials in Bath, Maine. The shipbuilder has replaced one of the massive turbines on the stealthy destroyer. It is scheduled to depart for San Diego in November.
Shipbuilders noticed an unusual vibration during sea trials and discovered afterward that a foreign object had damaged some of the blades the turbine was installed, Lesko said.
Although the turbine still works, the Navy decided to replace rather than repair the unit.
Naval Sea Systems Command said the damage was discovered in February.
‘Regrettably, coming off her acceptance trials we found a problem with one of the main turbine engines that drives one of the main generators; we’re having to change it out,’ Rear Adm. William Galinis told USNI News of the Rolls Royce-built MT30 marine gas turbine engine.
The damage was discovered during a post-trial inspection.
‘The problem we had coming off of acceptance trials was actually the turbine blades – so think of a jet engine on the side of an airplane, the blades that you see – we actually had some dings, some damage to those turbine blades,’ he said.
The Zumwalt-class destroyers use two main turbines similar to ones used on Boeing 777 jetliners to produce electricity that powers the ship and its sophisticated systems.
Combined with auxiliary turbines, the ship produces 78 megawatts of power, enough for a small- to medium-size city.
The Zumwalt and Monsoor are the first and second in a class of three of the stealthy destroyers.
The third, the Lyndon B. Johnson, remains under construction.
The Monsoor repairs presented an inconvenience because the Navy crew is already aboard the ship, and the repairs interrupted some of their training, Lesko said.
‘We tried to work around them in a way that would be minimally impactful,’ he said. ‘We were both satisfied with how that turned out.’
The destroyer, named for a Navy SEAL who threw himself on a grenade to save comrades, is due to be commissioned in January in Coronado, California.
The ships with an unusual, stealthy shape are the largest and costliest destroyers built for the Navy, weighing in at 15,000 tons.
They feature an unconventional wave-piercing hull and a sleek deckhouse that hides radar and other sensors inside.
Heavy automation allowed the Navy to reduce the crew size by half, compared with the other destroyers in the fleet.
THE US NAVY’S STEALTH DESTOYERS
Displacement: 14,564 long tons (14,798 t)
Length: 600 ft (180 m)
Beam: 80.7 ft (24.6 m)
Draft: 27.6 ft (8.4 m)
Propulsion: Two Rolls-Royce Marine Trent-30 gas turbines driving Curtiss-Wright generators and emergency diesel generators, 78 MW (105,000 shp); two propellers driven by electric motors
Speed: Over 30 kn (56 km/h; 35 mph)
20 × MK 57 VLS modules, with a total of 80 launch cells
RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), four per cell
Tactical Tomahawk, one per cell
Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket (ASROC), one per cell
Two × 155 mm/62 caliber Advanced Gun System
920 × 155 mm rounds total; 600 in automated store with Auxiliary store room with up to 320 rounds (non-automatic) as of April 2005
70–100 LRLAP rounds planned as of 2005 of total
Two × Mk 110 57 mm gun (CIGS)
Future versions of the radical design are expected to be used to test a futuristic ‘Star Wars’ railgun (advanced gun system) that uses electromagnetic energy to fire a shell weighing 10kg at up to 5,400mph over 100 miles