The USS Fort Worth underway in the Pacific Ocean. Navy photo

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth broke down in Singapore last week, the second of the new ships to experience a problem in the past month.

The Navy announced that the breakdown was due to an apparent failure to follow procedures during an operational test of the port and starboard main propulsion diesel engines. An investigation is underway and there was no estimate of when repairs would be completed.

In December the new littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee broke down in the Atlantic Ocean on its first voyage and had to be towed to port in Virginia. The Navy traced the problem to metal debris in the ship’s gear filter system.

The Fort Worth is based in San Diego, and the Milwaukee will be as well. Both ships are the single-hull version of the warships.

The Navy planned 52 of the ships, but the program was recently reduced to 40. Critics say the fast, agile vessels don’t have enough firepower.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.