Home Daily Blitz How a $2.7 Billion Submarine Was Crippled by Defective Parts

How a $2.7 Billion Submarine Was Crippled by Defective Parts


thefiscaltimes articleThe following is an excerpt from Martin Matishak | March 29, 2016 | Thefiscaltimes.com |

A $2.7 billion attack submarine, the USS Minnesota, has been out of commission for more than a year because of a defective pipe joint near the ship’s nuclear-powered engine.

The defective part, which is worth about $10,000, was installed near the ship’s nuclear power plant. Engineers discovered the poorly welded steam pipe in early 2015, and ongoing repairs have led to the ship being stuck in overhaul ever since, according to Navy Times.

The submarine was considered a great success just a few years ago. It was delivered to the Navy 11 months ahead of schedule and commissioned in September 2013. But the ship has spent only a few days at sea, and its crew has been waiting for more than two years to get underway. Repairs are supposed to be completed this summer, but the process has taken so long that some of the current crew, who typically serve in three-year rotations, may never sail on it.

The Minnesota isn’t alone, either: Navy officials say two other subs have been affected by the same shoddy pipe joints, and engineers are now scouring aircraft carriers and other ships for similar problems. Justice Department investigators are gathering evidence for possible criminal charges against the contractors responsible for the work.

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