The most expensive destroyer in US naval history had to be towed to port after breaking down in the Panama Canal.

A US Third Fleet spokesman confirmed that a vice admiral had ordered the USS Zumwalt to remain at ex-Naval Station Rodman in Panama to address the engineering problem.

"The schedule for the ship will remain flexible to enable testing and evaluation in order to ensure the ship's safe transit to her new homeport in San Diego," Fleet spokesman Commadore Ryan Perry told USNI News.

The repairs are expected to take about 10 days, he added.

The ship was in the canal when it lost propulsion, according to the website. Crew also reportedly saw water enter the bearings that connect electrical motors to driveshafts.

The vessel hit the canal wall, causing minor cosmetic damage.

The ship was built at Bath Iron Works in Maine and was on its way to San Diego when it broke down on Monday (21 November).

The Zumwalt cost more than $4.4 bn (£3.5 bn) and is regarded as one of the most technologically sophisticated warships in US naval history.

The 610ft ship has an angular shape to deflect radar, and a new gun system that fires rocket-powered shells up to 63 nautical miles.

The vessel was commissioned in October, with the second Zumwalt class vessel having been christened at a ceremony in June.