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US Navy USS Fitzgerald Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to conduct comprehensive at-sea testing

The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is underway to conduct comprehensive at-sea testing, marking a significant step in her return to warfighting readiness.

US Navy USS Fitzgerald Arleigh Burke class destroyer to conduct comprehensive at sea testing 925 001 The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) departs Huntington Ingalls Industries - Ingalls Shipbuilding's Pascagoula shipyard to conduct comprehensive at-sea testing, marking a significant step in the ship's return to warfighting readiness. (Picture source US Navy February 3, 2020)

The ship departed Huntington Ingalls Industries-Ingalls Shipbuilding's Pascagoula shipyard at approximately 6:30 a.m. (CDT) to conduct a series of demonstrations to evaluate that the ship's onboard systems meet or exceed Navy performance specifications. Among the systems that will be tested are navigation, damage control, mechanical and electrical systems, combat systems, communications, and propulsion.

The underway reflects nearly two years' worth of effort in restoring and modernizing one of the Navy's most capable warships after it was damaged during a collision in 2017 that claimed the lives of seven Sailors.

 Upon Fitzgerald's return to the shipyard, crew training and certifications will commence as final work items are completed in support of the ship's sail away later this spring.

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.

Naval Sea Systems Command is the largest of the Navy's five systems commands. NAVSEA engineers, builds, buys and maintains the Navy's ships, submarines and combat systems to meet the fleet's current and future operational requirements.

The Arleigh Burke-class was designed with an all-new hull form, incorporating much of the Spruance class (DD 963) destroyer propulsion and machinery plant, and the integrated Aegis Weapons System (AWS) proven on the Kidd class (DD 993) destroyers and installed on the larger Ticonderoga class cruisers. AWS is composed of a multi-function phased array radar, advanced AAW and ASW systems, VLS, and the Tomahawk Weapon System. DDG 51 was commissioned on July 4, 1991, and the class is still in production. The class has been continuously upgraded with advanced sensors and weapons and improved support systems.

Sixty-six Arleigh Burke-class DDG 51 ships have been delivered to the fleet (DDG 51 -116). Ten ships are currently under construction, with an additional twelve under contract with shipbuilders HII and BIW.