The Navy’s newest warship is slowly disappearing, one molecule at a time.
This isn’t a sequel to the 1984 sci-fi flick The Philadelphia Experiment, in which a Navy destroyer-escort vanishes through a time portal in Pennsylvania only to reappear in Nevada, 40 years later.
No, this time the disintegration is real. And so is the resulting tension between the Navy and the disappearing warship’s upstart builder.
The afflicted vessel is USS Independence, the second in the sailing branch’s fleet of fast, reconfigurable Littoral Combat Ships. Eventually, these ships are supposed to be the “workhorses” of tomorrow’s Navy.
As Bloomberg reported, the Navy has discovered “aggressive” corrosion around Independence’s engines. The problem is so bad that the barely year-old ship will have to be laid up in a San Diego drydock so workers can replace whole chunks of her hull.
In contrast to the first LCS, the steel-hulled USS Freedom, Independence is made mostly of aluminum. And that’s one root of the ship’s ailment.