The US Navy’s Blue Ridge-class command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) has completed its ten-month refit programme at the Viktor Lenac shipyard in Rijeka, Croatia.

The project was conducted by a team comprising US Navy, Military Sealift Command civil service mariners, US contractors and local shipyard workers.

Almost $45m was spent on the maintenance of Mount Whitney’s hull, as well as mechanical and electrical systems such as the generators and propeller.

The funds were also used to refurbish habitability spaces and command, control, communications, computers, cyber and intelligence systems.

In addition, the initiative involved the installation of two new antennas with significantly more bandwidth, Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise Services (Canes) and a computer network on-board. 

The ship’s computer systems were upgraded as part of the development.

“Mount Whitney is the flag ship of US 6th Fleet and has now arrived at its forward-deployed port in Gaeta, Italy, following the overhaul project.”

USS Mount Whitney commanding officer captain Kavon Hakimzadeh said: “It took us about ten months, a little bit longer than we anticipated based on finding some additional problems along the way.

“Given the age of the ship, it wasn’t surprising to find things here and there.

“It was a highly successful effort by everyone and there was great cooperation with the Viktor Lenac shipyard.”

Mount Whitney is the flag ship of US 6th Fleet and has now arrived at its forward-deployed port in Gaeta, Italy, following the overhaul project.

The ship operates with a combined crew of US Navy sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners.

The civil service mariners perform navigation, deck engineering and supply service operations, while military personnel support communications, weapons systems and security initiatives.

USS Mount Whitney is able to receive, process and transmit large amounts of secure data from any point on earth via the HF, UHF, VHF, SHF, and EHF communications paths.