Mississippi shipyard gets initial $63M to repair destroyer

The damage of the right side of the USS Fitzgerald is seen off Shimoda, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan, after the Navy destroyer collided with a merchant ship, Saturday, June 17, 2017. The U.S. Navy says the USS Fitzgerald suffered damage below the water line on its starboard side after it collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant ship. (Iori Sagisawa/Kyodo News via AP)

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — The U.S. Navy has awarded an initial $63 million contract to a Mississippi shipyard to repair a damaged destroyer.

The Navy on Friday announced the contract with Ingalls Shipbuilding, part of Virginia-based Huntington Ingalls Industries.

The USS Fitzgerald was damaged in a June 17 collision with a container ship off Japan that killed seven sailors. Its hull was punctured twice more last month as it was loaded aboard a transport ship. The transport ship finally sailed for Pascagoula on Dec. 9.

The Navy says the contract covers initial rip-out of damaged areas. After that, Ingalls will modernize the Fitzgerald, which had been scheduled for an overhaul in 2019. The work is likely to cost hundreds of millions of dollars overall. The Navy chose Ingalls to do the work in August.

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