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Why should Ingalls Shipbuilding repair the USS Fitzgerald? Navy explains

In this June 18, 2017, file photo, damaged USS Fitzgerald is docked at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, after colliding with Philippine-flagged container ship ACX Crystal off Japan. Seven sailors died in the collision. The ship will be brought to Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula for repairs.
In this June 18, 2017, file photo, damaged USS Fitzgerald is docked at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, after colliding with Philippine-flagged container ship ACX Crystal off Japan. Seven sailors died in the collision. The ship will be brought to Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula for repairs. AP File

The USS Fitzgerald will be moved to Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula before the end of the year.

The Navy said in a press release that the guided-missile destroyer will change homeport from Yokosuka, Japan, to Pascagoula effective Dec. 15.

The Huntington Ingalls Industries shipbuilders in Pascagoula will make the repairs to the ship sustained in a collision with Merchant Vessel ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan on June 17.

The start date, scope, cost and the time required to fully restore the ship have not yet been determined, the press release said, but the Navy did give an explanation for choosing Ingalls.

“Given the complexity of the work and the significant unknowns of the restoration, the Navy determined that only an Arleigh Burke-class shipbuilder could perform the effort,” the Navy said. “Only HII has the available capacity to restore USS Fitzgerald to full operational status in the shortest period of time with minimal disruption to ongoing repair and new construction work.”

Patriot Shipping, based in Houston, will heavy-lift the shift from Japan to Pascagoula by November.

Meanwhile, Ingalls Shipbuilding is making preparations for the arrival of the destroyer. Ingalls has filed a request with Department of Marine Resources asking for permission to modify an existing 10-year maintenance dredging permit to increase the depth of the existing launch pit from 74 feet below Mean Low Water Line to 78 feet to accommodate the repairs.

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