A new report from Maritime Reporter & Engineering News sheds a little more light on the corrosion issues that hampered the U.S.S. Independence earlier this year.
Independence is the first littoral combat ship built at Austal USA’sMobile River shipyard. The company is Mobile’s largest industrial employer, working its way from 2,400 employees to about 4,000 over the next few years.
Austal worked as a subcontractor for General Dynamics Corp. on Independence and the future U.S.S. Coronado, which is under construction now. Austal will be the prime contractor on 10 more LCS after that.
Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman Chris Johnson is quoted in the Maritime Reporter story saying:
“The General Dynamics and Austal USA approach to prevent corrosion
on LCS 2 was based on commercial practices and included a coating system on the exposed metal, electrical insulation of dissimilar metals and cathodic protection via sacrificial zinc anodes in the water jet tunnels. This design proved to be less effective than intended due to multiple factors including improper electrical insulation during installation. To provide more comprehensive protection, an ICCP system and additional sacrificial protection design is being finalized and will be implemented on LCS 2 during its Post Shakedown Availability (PSA); has already been installed on LCS 4; and will be included on LCS 6 and follow as a baseline change prior to the start of construction.”