Home » Budget Industry » Stricken Destroyer USS Fitzgerald Arrives in Mississippi for Two Years of Repairs


Stricken Destroyer USS Fitzgerald Arrives in Mississippi for Two Years of Repairs

The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) arrives at the port of Pascagoula, Miss. on Jan. 19, 2018 aboard the heavy lift transport vessel M/V Transshelf. US Navy Photo

The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) has arrived in Mississippi ahead of repairs that were the result of a fatal collision with a merchant ship in June, the Navy announced on Friday.

The destroyer departed Yokosuka, Japan in late November lashed to the deck of the heavy-lift transport M/V Transshelf. The transport transited the Pacific and arrived at the U.S. Gulf Coast via the Panama Canal, according to Naval Sea Systems Command.

Fitzgerald is expected to spend several days in the Port of Pascagoula as the heavy lift ship will commence 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,” read a statement from NAVSEA.
“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 process to restore Fitzgerald is expected to take two years.
The collision with the merchant ship ACX Crystal resulted in extensive damage to the ship below the water line and the superstructure. In total, the final cost for the repair for Fitzgerald is estimated to run about $367 million, according to a Navy cost estimate obtained by USNI News.
Seven sailors died in the collision.
The following is the complete statement on the arrival of Fitzgerald to Mississippi.

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) arrived in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Jan. 19, aboard heavy lift vessel MV Transshelf inward bound from Yokosuka, Japan.

Fitzgerald is expected to spend several days in the Port of Pascagoula as the heavy lift ship will commence 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 (HM&E); Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence; 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 Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Collaboration and Intelligence; 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.

Fitzgerald was involved in a collision with the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal June 17. 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 Nov. 1.

  • RunningBear

    The DOD/ Navy really needs to finish making the case for re-establishing one, if not two DDG/ LPD level construction/ repair shipyards on the west coast in the San Diego/ Bremerton areas. The competitive wage/ salary needs to be brought inline with east and south coast benefits relative to area cost of living. There is the well established merchant marine facilities to provide the skilled manpower base. The two existing yards are “FULL” with projected work and “NOW” is the time to bring back a much needed military manufacturing/ repair resource on the west coast.
    🙂

  • NavySubNuke

    Welcome home Fritz. Best of the luck to the shipyard and the crew as they repair her.

  • kye154

    Well, that is a relief for North Korea. That makes 4 ships now that are not on its borders and brought home, because of accidents. It might do the navy some good, if they got the shipyard to install bumpers and inflatable air bags on their ships. until, the OODs, JOODs, and bridge watch standers go through drivers training,(seamanship,rules-of-the- road, and nautical navigation), which should take them at least 6-9 months before they are fully qualified, and get their driver’s license.

  • Darrold Martin

    I’m one of the parents of the seven fallin. And still can’t wrap my head around it.

    • battlestations

      Mr. Martin, my words cannot take away any of your pain nor answer any of the questions you have asked so many times since the day Xavier and his fellow shipmates were lost.
      My heart aches for you and Xavier’s Mother. I pray that you find peace with your loss.
      Bless you and the sacrifice of your son life while serving the rest of us. God Bless Sir and thank you! (Salute)

      • Darrold Martin

        Thank you for the kind words!

        Darrold

    • Mud

      Thank you for raising a son who chose to serve. Xavier and all his shipmates will be sorely missed. I will visit him the next time I am at Arlington. Semper Fidelis.

      • Darrold Martin

        Thank you and Roger that! I was just there Sunday

    • D. Jones

      Very sorry for your loss.

    • If there’s anything we can do on our end, please let us know.
      [email protected]

      • battlestations

        If there is, my wallet is there as well.

      • Darrold Martin

        Roger That!

    • RobM1981

      Mr. Martin, Thank you for the sacrifice it takes to raise a good son, who becomes a good man. My condolences for your loss, and to the other parents, wives, and families. Being on a warship at sea is never safe, even in times of peace. Your son, and the others, knew this and faced the challenge every day. I pray that as your grief diminishes, your pride increases. God bless you and your family.

    • Wharf Rat

      Mr Martin- I’ve got two in (24 and 20, son and daughter) on carriers, and knowing the similar average age of the Sailors lost drove it home.

      Thank you for raising such a fine young man.

      I was on Minnesota Military Radio saying in no uncertain terms that these 17 Sailors should still be with us. Like you it’s impossible to wrap my head around how one incident occurred let alone two. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Hand salute to you and your son. You’ve both served our country well.

      • Darrold Martin

        Nice to know that others get it!! Living or trying to live the NEW Normal…

  • David Oldham

    Give or take you could build a new destroyer in two years so these repairs are taking so long because?

    • USNVO

      Because they are repairing it, not making a new one.

      Imagine you are changing an engine in a car. It takes a few minutes on the assembly line to install the engine but several hours or even days on a complete car. Why? because there is now a bunch of stuff in the way.

      It is similar on a ship. When constructing new ships, they use standardized blocks that go together in a specific sequence. Installs are carefully managed to avoid having to do things over and avoid getting in the way of other work.

      For repairs, they may need to cut out large sections of the ship (which may require extensive structural reinforcement which has to be designed, fabricated, installed, and eventually removed), design, fabricate, and install custom replacement sections (most of which will be smaller than your typical construction block since it has to physically fit into the ship), and then put it all back together making sure everything is properly aligned and all the hundreds of miles of cables, pipes, and hoses are properly installed. Some of the materials may no longer be available so you may need to do replacements with newer equipment as well.

      There is just a lot more stuff to do for repairs that requires a bunch of custom fabrication.

    • @USS_Fallujah

      Construction start to delivery time for a Burke is between 37 to 44 months.

      That doesn’t include outfitting and post-delivery shakedown, so the time to get the Fitz back to see will be half to a third of the time it takes to get a new destroyer from keel laying to first deployment.

  • Secundius

    Now all that “Fitzgerald” has to “Worry About” IS Funds Availability To Fix the Ship…