USS Fitzgerald leaves dry dock after more than a year of repairs

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(WASHINGTON) — After more than a year of repairs following a fatal collision in 2017, the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald has left a dry dock at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) announced late Tuesday.

The destroyer was heavily damaged in a June 17, 2017 collision with the containership ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan. Seven U.S. Navy sailors died.

ACX Crystal punched a hole in the amidships of the starboard side of the destroyer below the water line. The flared bow of the merchant ship crushed the superstructure of the destroyer. The subsequent flooding below decks caused extensive damage to the electrical systems.

“These repairs range from partial to complete refurbishment of impacted spaces to replacement of equipment such as the radar and electronic warfare suite," read a statement from NAVSEA. “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.”

After the ship limped back under its own power to Japan, the Navy made the decision to use a heavy-lift ship to carry the destroyer to Pascagoula for an intensive repair period to rebuild the damaged portions and replace damaged components. The ship arrived in January 2018.

NAVSEA did not provide an estimated cost of the repairs, but a Navy estimate obtained by USNI News in late 2017 put the total repair cost at about $327 million.

Click here to read the USNI News story.

By Professional Mariner Staff