A U.S. Navy destroyer damaged in a collision last summer arrived on the Gulf Coast Friday.
The ship will undergo repairs at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The June 17 collision with a Philippine-flagged container ship off japan caved in parts of the Fitzgerald above and below the waterline.
Water gushed into compartments, killing seven U.S. sailors.
The ship's arrival comes only days after the Navy announced it was seeking negligent homicide charges against four officers of the Fitzgerald at the time of the collision.
A hearing has not yet been held to determine whether there's enough evidence for those charges and others.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer arrived in Pascagoula aboard heavy lift vessel MV Transshelf inward bound from Yokosuka, Japan.
Fitzgerald is expected to spend several days in the Port of Pascagoula as the heavy lift ship will commence the reverse operation of unfastening, lowering, and guiding the ship off the platform. The ship will then be taken to its designated pier space at Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard.
Due to the extent and complexity of the restoration, both repair and new construction procedures will be used to accomplish the restoration and modernization efforts, according to a NAVSEA news release. Various Hull Mechanical and Electrical (HM&E), C4I and Combat System equipment, including the electronic warfare suite, radar, switchboard, gas turbine generator, and air condition plant require repair and/or replacement. Fitzgerald will also receive HM&E, Combat System and C5I upgrades that were originally planned for installation during a fiscal year 2019 availability, the news release states.
Work on the ship is expected to occur on a land level facility throughout 2018 and one to two quarters of 2019, followed by an extensive test and trials period to ensure all systems and spaces are restored to full functionality and operational capability. The entire restoration and modernization effort is expected to complete approximately 24 months post work commencement on the ship.
Fitzgerald was involved in a collision with the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal. In addition to the loss of life among the Fitzgerald crew, the ship was damaged on the starboard side above and below the waterline.