Navy Taps HII to Repair Collision-Damaged USS Fitzgerald
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has selected Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) to repair the collision-damaged destroyer USS Fitzgerald, the company announced in an Aug. 23 release. The repairs will be conducted at the company’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Miss.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer was severely damaged June 17 when it collided of the coast of Japan with the ACX Crystal, a Philippine-flag container ship. Seven Sailors died and three were injured in the incident. The destroyer sustained a large hole in the starboard hull at and below the waterline.
Fitzgerald, which was able to return to its homeport of Yokosuka, Japan, was inspected by Navy and industry officials. It was determined that the ship would be transported to the United States for repairs on a lift ship.
“Ingalls and all of its employees regret the tragic circumstances that will bring the ship to Pascagoula,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said in the announcement, “but it is an honor and a privilege to work with the Navy to return the ship to the fleet in the shortest time possible.”
Ingalls Shipbuilding, one of two builders of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, repaired the USS Cole, a sister ship of the Fitzgerald, when it was severely damaged in October 2000 by a terrorist attack that holed the hull of the ship. Cole also was transported to Pascagoula by a lift ship.
Ingalls also repaired the Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Stark after it was severely damaged by Iraqi cruise missiles in the Persian Gulf in May 1987.
The Fitzgerald was built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Me.