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AEROSPACE
Huntington Ingalls picked to refurbish USS Fitzgerald
by Richard Tomkins
Washington (UPI) Aug 24, 2017


The guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald, damaged in a collision off the coast of Japan, is to be repaired and refurbished by Huntington Ingalls Industries, the Navy said Wednesday.

The work will take place at Huntington's shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., after transport arrangements are finalized to transfer the ship from Japan. The Navy said, however, that "the start date, scope, cost and the time required to fully restore the ship have not yet been determined."

The actual contract for the work is expected to be completed later this year, with the cost for all fixes likely surpassing the $500 million mark.

"Given the complexity of the work and the significant unknowns of the restoration, the Navy determined that only an Arleigh Burke-class shipbuilder could perform the effort." the Navy said in a press release. "Only HII has the available capacity to restore Fitzgerald to full operational status in the shortest period of time with minimal disruption to ongoing repair and new construction work."

"Ingalls and all of its employees regret the tragic circumstances that will bring the ship to Pascagoula," Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said in a statement, "but it is an honor and a privilege to work with the Navy to return the ship to the fleet in the shortest time possible."

The USS Fitzgerald was involved in a collision off Japan with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel on June 17. The ship suffered damage on her starboard side above and below the waterline.

Seven sailors died in the mishap. The Fitzgerald's commander, executive officer and a senior non-commissioned officer were relieved of their duties following the collision.

The Navy is currently in the process of finalizing plans to lift the ship for transport back to the United States.

AEROSPACE
NASA, students to study eclipse with high-altitude balloons
Washington (UPI) Aug 16, 2017
Not everyone will be watching next week's eclipse from ground level. As part of the Eclipse Ballooning Project, some 50 high-altitude balloons launched from 20 locations will offer a view of the phenomenon from the edge of space. For those in the path of Monday's total solar eclipse, the star attraction will be skyward. Necks will be craned as moon's path intercepts the sun and casts a ... read more

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