Sea Platforms

USS Fitzgerald begins sea testing

03 February 2020

Guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) suffered heavy damage in a 2017 collision with a merchant vessel. Source: US Navy

The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) departed Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on 3 February to conduct comprehensive at-sea testing of the ship's systems. The systems were restored or updated in the wake of the vessel's 2017 collision with a commercial ship in the Western Pacific.

Fitzgerald will conduct a series of demonstrations to evaluate those onboard systems. The ship will test its navigation, damage control, mechanical and electrical systems, combat systems, as well as communications and propulsion equipment.

The US Navy (USN) has been restoring and modernising Fitzgerald for more than two years following the 17 June 2017 collision between the US destroyer and the Philippine-flagged merchant cargo ship MV ACX Crystal off the Japanese coast. The USN later confirmed that seven missing sailors were found dead in flooded berthing compartments inside the ship.

The ship received hull mechanical and electrical (HM&E), combat system, command, control, communications, computers, collaboration, and intelligence upgrades that were originally planned for installation during a fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) availability, USN officials said.

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