The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), has left for its home port in San Diego following a series of repair and upgrade works.

The destroyer arrived at the Pascagoula shipyard in Mississippi in 2018 to undergo a two-year restoration and modernisation. The USS Fitzgerald was significantly damaged in a collision in 2017 that killed seven of its crew members.

Navy Regional Maintenance Center commander and Surface Ship Maintenance and Modernization director Rear Adm. Eric Ver Hage said: “Today the ‘Fighting Fitz’ is returning to the Pacific Fleet as one of our nation’s most capable warfighting platforms, marking a significant step in her return to warfighting readiness.

“The Fitzgerald sailors, our navy project teams and the men and women of Ingalls put forth a tremendous effort to restore the ship to fighting shape and did so on schedule.”

The scope of renovation works included Hull, Mechanical and Electrical (HM&E), Combat System (CS) and Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C5I) repairs to ensure full operations and functionality.

The ship’s radar and electronic warfare suite were replaced, while it also received HM&E, Combat System and C5I modernisation upgrades.

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Concurrently, the destroyer’s crew also completed multiple training and certification events to hone their readiness to operate the vessel.

USS Fitzgerald commanding officer Commander Scott Wilbur said: “Completing repairs and upgrades to Fitzgerald was only possible because of the outstanding teamwork between the government and industry teams over the last two-and-a-half years.

“My thanks go out to everyone involved in making sure the ship is ready, and I’m especially proud of my crew’s hard work ensuring we are trained and prepared to take our ship back to sea.”

Once the destroyer arrives at home port, necessary crew training and certifications procedures will be initiated.