TOKYO — The U.S. Navy on Tuesday said it will haul the guided missile destroyer severely damaged in a collision with a freighter in Japanese waters back to the United States for repairs as soon as September.
The collision killed seven sailors aboard the USS Fitzgerald and ripped a hole below the vessels waterline. Naval engineers in Japan have patched up the destroyer but extensive damage that nearly sank the warship means it is unable to sail under its own steam.
“The Fitzgerald may be moved in September but it could be later than that,” a spokesman for the U.S. Seventh Fleet said.
The U.S. Navy plans to hire a commercial heavy lift ship to carry the destroyer. In the tender for the contract it has said that the furthest possible journey could be as far as to naval dockyards in Maine…
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