The USS Freedom has been unable to perform scheduled tasks due to technical difficulties, for the second time in three weeks.
The littoral combat ship’s port steerable water-jet feedback cable stopped sending signals to indicate the jet’s position during steering checks Sunday, 7th Fleet spokesman Lt. David Levy said in a statement Tuesday. The problem was discovered as the crew prepared to depart the following day for Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Brunei, the last major exercise of the ship’s debut deployment abroad.
The steering issue is the latest hiccup for the $500 million first-in-class vessel. It was sidelined Oct. 24 due to seawater contamination in one of its steerable water-jet hydraulic systems and in July with generator and computer issues.