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Less than two months after the USS San Antonio was finally declared fit for duty, all four of its engines are experiencing problems, forcing it to be once again pulled from service.The $2 billion San Antonio has been plagued by problems since being commissioned, and has been out of fleet rotation for years.
A first-in-its-class, 700-foot amphibious transport, the vessel was built by Northrop Grumman and delivered to the Navy in 2005.
According to the Hampton Pilot, the ship’s first and only deployment three years ago included a week-long rest in Bahrain for emergency engine repairs and a near miss with a ship in the Suez Canal.
Problems have occurred in nearly every portion of the ship, but the engines have been stricken hardest and the Navy cancelled its contract with Earl Industries LLC over its failure to get the San Antonio running properly.
The vessel came in at $840 million over budget and when delivered, was incomplete. Admiral J.C. Harvey issued a statement from U.S. Fleet: In a rush to get SAN ANTONIO’s operational capabilities to the Fleet, we overlooked a lot of very critical issues and accepted a ship that was only 90% complete and ultimately did not meet the standards of quality our Sailors and Marines need and expect of a U.S. Navy ship.
The Navy is speaking optimistically about this round of repairs and says the ship will be ready for its 20 week pre-deployment training in August.
Newer ships in the San Antonio class are also afflicted by problems, but to a much lesser extent.
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