Windsor Bat­tery Fire De­lays Re­turn

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HMCS Windsor's re­turn to Hal­i­fax was de­layed due to a bat­tery cell mal­func­tion, said a spokesman from Mar­itime Forces At­lantic on Fe­bru­ary 19.

On Fe­bru­ary 15, crew mem­bers dis­cov­ered a bat­tery cell on the sub­ma­rine had started to spread dis­charge to an­other cell, Capt. Cameron Hil­lier said. The bat­ter­ies help pro­pel the ves­sel. "It was quickly iso­lated and con­tained," Hil­lier said. "There was no fire or any­thing like that. Es­sen­tially, the is­sue was iden­ti­fied and im­me­di­ately iso­lated."

HMCS Windsor has had prob­lems be­fore. In Jan­uary 2015, it re­turned to ser­vice af­ter months of un­sched­uled re­pairs and main­te­nance, which came un­der bud­get to around $17.2 mil­lion. That wasn't long af­ter a $209-mil­lion re­fit was fur­ther de­layed by a faulty gen­er­a­tor.

Hil­lier said the navy con­sid­ers this lat­est is­sue a "mi­nor me­chan­i­cal in­ci­dent at sea." The crew is trained and pa­trols reg­u­larly for prob­lems, he said. "When it be­comes real life like this, they're well pre­pared to han­dle it," Hil­lier added.

The sub­ma­rine has two bat­ter­ies with a com­bined 240 cells, and each bat­tery has a life­span of five to six-and-ahalf years. HMCS Windsor's bat­ter­ies are around five years old. They were to be re­placed this fall, but that sched­ule may change af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Hil­lier said.

The sub­ma­rine is docked at the naval sta­tion in Nor­folk, Vir­ginia, af­ter ar­riv­ing un­der its own power. The crew is wait­ing for a team of spe­cial­ists, en­gi­neers and tech­ni­cians to ar­rive from Hal­i­fax.

Its 60 crew mem­bers were par­tic­i­pat­ing in an ex­er­cise with the United States Navy off the eastern seaboard. The sub­ma­rine also par­tic­i­pated in NATO ex­er­cises last fall be­fore returning to Hal­i­fax in De­cem­ber.

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