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Monday, June 01, 2009

Not Good News...

A weld inspector for Northrop Grumman has been caught falsifying weld inspection documents on new subs and one carrier. Apparently he has been signing off on welds without actually doing the inspection and it affects three ships that are currently in service.

According to the report, the ships worked on by the inspector included the Virginia-class nuclear attack submarines North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Missouri, California, Mississippi, Minnesota and John Warner, and the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush. Bush, North Carolina and New Hampshire are in service; the other subs are in various states of construction at Newport News and at the General Dynamics shipyards in Groton, Conn., and Quonset, R.I.

Read the full article here.

I remember the first time I went out to sea on a sub. I was nervous and kept wondering if there would be any leaks or if you would hear any creaking from the hull. All my shipmates assured me that during construction they take special precautions to make sure everything is done right in order to prevent any catastrophes. I bet the first timers on the affected subs are pretty nervous right now if they even know about the issue. Of course the hull integrity of the subs are tested during sea trials, so hopefully if there is anything wrong it would be found by now. Although it might take some time before any welds are weakened enough for someone to notice. According to the news article they will be going back to re-inspect everything the liar touched.

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