The USS Fitzgerald is now underway to conduct comprehensive at-sea testing, marking a significant step in her return to readiness after a major collision three years ago.

The 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.

Following the collision.

The US Navy say that among the systems that will be tested are navigation, damage control, mechanical and electrical systems, combat systems, communications, and propulsion.

The vessel being carried home.

“Since we launched the ship this past April our efforts have focused on restoring ship systems, conducting pier side tests and readying the ship for sea,” said Rear Adm. Tom Anderson, NAVSEA director Surface Ship Maintenance and Modernization and commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center.

“The government and industry team has been working hand-in-hand on this exceptionally complex effort, with a common purpose of returning Fitzgerald to sea and ultimately back to the Fleet.”

After receiving its full complement of basic and advanced phased training, as well as crew and ship certifications, the USS Fitzgerald will return to the Fleet mission-ready with the improved capability and lethality required to successfully support high-end operations, say the US Navy in a release.

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ChariotRider
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ChariotRider

Interesting to see that the USN appear to have taken to opportunity to enhance the Fitzgerald’s capabilities during the repair process. They did the same with the battleships sunk at Pearl Harbour and got virtually brand new battleships back.

Of course it may take a little longer but the benefits accure further down the line. I just wish our politicians / Treasury would take a similar long term strategic approach – and not just on defence either!

spyintheskyuk
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spyintheskyuk

Oh come on be fair they did do the same sort of upgrade with HMS Belfast.

ChariotRider
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ChariotRider

🙂 True. There is a balance to be struck – not all vessels of worth repairing, indeed I believe there was real talk of scrapping Belfast because of the extent of the damage. It took 2 to 3 years to finish the repairs and upgrade job, if I remember rightly, but ship was one of the most advanced ships in the fleet when completed and played a significant role in the sinking of Scharnhorst! Back to the present though, I was comparing the USN’s apparent long term approach to decision making as a general practice rather than the short termism… Read more »

Sean
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Sean

I think all militaries have their embarrassments, the littoral combat ship programme and the Zumwalt destroyers spring to mind for the USN.

Helions
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Helions

The LCS for sure, but I think they’re going to find their niche as MCM and UMV command ships. The Zumwalts are too big and advanced with enormous power generation capabilities to not be used. I suspect that the current idea to use them as stealthy strike platforms loaded for bear with ASMs will pan out. The AGS will likely be removed to make more room for VLS.

Cheers!

4thwatch
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4thwatch

There is talk of building up the Fishery Protection Squadron. Decommissioned HMS Clyde must be a real possibility. It would be good to get Bae to comprehensively refit her before the RN buys a Lemon. The price can be gauged by the buy out of the first 3 River OPV’s.
Bae should do this for a highly competitive price as payback for the wildly overpriced River 2s.
Then build some smaller inshore Fishery Protection boats to be part of a series to replace Gibraltar squadron and 2000’s.

Paul T
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Paul T

An interesting comparison was when the Sea Wall and Railway in Dawlish collapsed in a storm in 2014.The Line obviously had to be closed for some time for rebuilding.A Programme of works was planned for some date much further on regarding another point in the line that was to have a new Drainage System installed.These works needed Rectangular Concrete Tunnel sections which had not yet been manufactured.The decision was taken to bring forward these works seeing as the line was already closed and would be for some time,but the problem was the Concrete Sections,they had quite a long Lead-time.Someone did… Read more »

ChariotRider
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ChariotRider

Now that is a really good piece of news – shame it wasn’t reported in the media. If positive stories were reported more often then may be we could attract and keep the good people we do have.

I suspect that this was achieved by some enterprising individual spotting an opportunity and having the good fortune to actually have either the direct authority to act or a boss with a similar measure of common sense. Sadly, common sense is remarkably uncommon.

Lets hope whoever pulled off that trick was suitably rewarded or praised for their actions. Whoever they are well done!!!