US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) came a step closer to rejoining the fleet after it was launched and moored pier-side at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) – Ingalls Shipbuilding shipyard, April 16.
The ship is undergoing a complex repair and restoration following a collision with Philippine-flagged merchant vessel ACX Crystal southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, on June 17, 2017.
Seven sailors lost their lives and the ship was damaged on her starboard side above and below the waterline.
The ship was transported from its forward-deployed homeport in Yokosuka, Japan, to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in Pascagoula, Mississippi for both repairs and upgrades.
“The complexity of this overhaul has been challenging, but our planning team at Bath Iron Works and waterfront team at HII is executing repairs and installing upgrades so that Fitzgerald returns to our Sailors lethal and mission-ready,” said Rear Adm. Jim Downey, deputy commander for surface warfare and commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center. “We’re excited to have the ship back in the water where we can begin outfitting and testing efforts in support of getting the ship and crew back underway.”
To restore the impacted spaces to full operations and functionality, various Hull, Mechanical and Electrical (HM&E), Combat System (CS) and Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C5I) repairs are being conducted.
These repairs range from partial to complete refurbishment of impacted spaces to replacement of equipment such as the radar and electronic warfare suite. The ship is also receiving HM&E, Combat System and C5I modernization upgrades. Due to the extent and complexity of the restoration, both repair and new construction procedures are being used to accomplish the restoration and modernization efforts.
“This undocking is a step forward and brings us that much closer to getting Fitzgerald back out to sea – where the ship belongs,” said Cmdr. Garrett Miller, Fitzgerald’s commanding officer. “I’m proud of this crew’s hard work over the past year and look forward returning to the fleet with enhanced warfighting capability and lethality.”