It’s Sink or Swim

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The importance of a good weld goes far deeper than just good looks; on Navy vessels, a good weld can throughly impact a ship’s overall lifespan.

Some ships built on Coast flawed, Navy says
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • JANUARY 25, 2010

NEW ORLEANS — The Navy says numerous welds may be bad on warships built in the past two years by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding at Gulf Coast shipyards.

(File photo/The Associated Press)

Since last summer, engineers have been inspecting Northrop Grumman-built warships after engineers found that between 10 percent and 15 percent of pipe welds inside vessels built at the shipyards in Pascagoula and Avondale, La., were not thick enough and could shorten a vessel’s life-span, the Navy said.

“We’re talking about thousands and thousands of welds to inspect, and we’re probably talking about hundreds of welds that need to be fixed on each ship,” said Jay Stefany, the Navy’s program manager for the LPD 17 amphibious assault ships.

The Navy said faulty pipe welds were found on destroyers, LPD assault ships and on one LHD big-deck amphibious assault ship. All were built at Northrop Grumman’s Avondale and Pascagoula shipyards.

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