The US Navy has restricted operations of its three newest submarines, which have suffered technical problem.
USS North Dakota (SSN-784), the USS Minnesota (SSN-783) and USS John Warner (SSN-785), just commissioned one week ago on August 1, are being sidelined.
The primary shipbuilder of the US Navy, General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) has determined a quality control issue.
According to GDEB specialists, three steam pipe elbows required additional testing and repair due to unauthorized and undocumented weld repairs performed on the elbows.
Steam pipe elbows are working as a connection link between the submarine’s nuclear reactors and the propulsion system. They were constructed by Jacksonville (Florida)-based piping manufactory company NUFLO.
The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said in a statement that Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS) will perform additional inspections of the three newest submarines in order to address the issue.
Navy officials commented that the vessels are not being shut down because of any immediate risks, but because of long-term wear and tear concerns. They also explained that the faulty instrumental had not been installed on submarines constructed prior to the USS Minnesota.