Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said Wednesday it intends to issue a task order for the salvage patching and heavy lift transport of the damaged USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) to a naval facility in Japan.
In August, DDG-56, an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided-missile destroyer, collided with a commercial vessel near the Straights of Malacca and Singapore in the early morning hours. This caused severe damage and the deaths of several sailors. It was the second deadly collision involving this class of ship within three months (Defense Daily, Aug. 21).
The John S. McCain was able to make it to Changi Naval Base in Singapore following the incident. The Navy will now use a heavy lift transport to move the ship to the Navy’s Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center at its homeport in Yokosuka, Japan. There the crew will be close to their families and the Navy will be able to conduct a full assessment of the damage.
NAVSEA said the lift is notionally planned for late September and a Navy spokesperson said it falls under a contract with SMIT Salvage.
The Navy said they must first complete damage assessment to fully determine repair plans concerning issues like cost, schedule, and location for the ship’s repairs.
Last month the Navy’s Military Sealift Command awarded Patriot Shipping a $3.1 million contract for the heavy lift of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), the first destroyer with severe collision damage over the summer (Defense Daily, Aug. 25).
That contract directs Patriot to move DDG-62 from Yokosuka to Pascagoula, Miss., where it will be repaired by Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII]. This long distance heavy lift transit is due to be completed by November.