The damaged USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) has left Changi Naval base in Singapore and is headed towards the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Activities Yokosuka, in Japan for repairs, the Navy said Thursday.
For several days DDG-56 will be towed to deep water where it will meet heavy lift transport vessel MV Treasure. The vessel will lower itself, secure the McCain on a platform, then rise back out of the water before proceeding to Yokosuka, the Seventh Fleet said in a statement.
DDG-56, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, collided with a commercial vessel near the Straights of Malacca and Singapore, causing severe damage and the deaths of 10 sailors. It was the second deadly collision involving this class of ship within three months (Defense Daily, Aug. 21).
On Wednesday, the Pacific Fleet announced the McCain will be repaired at Yokosuka, at the Naval Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center (Defense Daily, Oct. 4). In contrast, the USS Fitzgerald, which was also involved in a collision with a commercial vessel that resulted in the deaths of sailors, is being transported to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ [HII] facility in Pascagoula, Miss., for repairs and upgrades (Defense Daily, Aug. 23).
Last month the Navy said the McCain transport contract was awarded to SMIT Salvage. DDG-56 is expected to arrive in Japan later this month (Defense Daily, Sept. 7).
The Navy said that in the past several weeks crew members, technicians, and divers prepared the McCain for the journey by conducting damage assessments and putting key systems in layup maintenance. They also installed a patch over damaged sections of the hull to keep the ship watertight for the trip to Japan.
The repairs for both the McCain and Fitzgerald may cost hundreds of millions of dollars each.