As anyone who pays attention to the news media knows, the USS Fitzgerald was involved in a collision with the Philippine-flagged freighter ACX Crystal on June 17, 2017. Seven sailors lost their lives and the ship was damaged on the starboard side above and below the waterline. The Navy released a comprehensive review of the incident in November of 2017, which revealed that the Fitzgerald was at fault in the collision.
What most people aren’t aware of is the restoration process required by such tragedies. On January 19, 2018, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer arrived in Pascagoula, Mississippi aboard the heavy lift vessel MV Transshelf from Yokosuka, Japan.
Fitzgerald is expected to spend several days in the Port of Pascagoula as the heavy lift ship commences the reverse operation of unfastening, lowering, and guiding the ship off the platform. The ship will then be taken to its designated pier space at Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard.
Due to the extent and complexity of the restoration, both repair and new construction procedures will be used to accomplish the restoration and modernization efforts.
Various Hull Mechanical and Electrical, C4I and Combat System equipment, including the electronic warfare suite, radar, switchboard, gas turbine generator, and air condition plant require repair and/or replacement. Fitzgerald will also receive HM&E, Combat System and C5I upgrades that were originally planned for installation during a fiscal year 2019 availability.
Work on the ship is expected to occur on a land level facility throughout 2018 and one to two quarters of 2019, followed by an extensive test and trials period to ensure all systems and spaces are restored to full functionality and operational capability. The entire restoration and modernization effort is expected to complete approximately 24 months post work commencement on the ship.
Images and text courtesy of the Naval Sea Systems Command.