U.S. Navy’s most advanced destroyer USS Zumwalt breaks down again

The U.S. Navy’s biggest and most advanced warship has been towed into port after breaking down in the Panama Canal. The USS Zumwalt cost more than $4.4bn(£3.5bn) to build and is equipped with the latest stealth technology. It only came into commission in October this year, and was on its way to San Diego to start the activation of its weapons system. But it developed an engineering problem as it sailed through the Panama Canal and lost power.

The schedule for the ship will remain flexible to enable testing and evaluation in order to ensure the ship’s safe transit to her new home port in San Diego.

Fleet commander Vice Admiral Nora Tyson

US Naval Institute publication USNI News reported that the crew saw water getting into bearings that connect electrical motors to the vessel’s driveshafts. It is not the first time the destroyer has had problems. In September a sea water leak was reported in the engines as it was sailing from shipbuilders General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine to a Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia. And the ship suffered engineering problems shortly after it was commissioned on 15 October. Sailings were delayed while repairs and tests were carried out on its propulsion equipment.