Scrapping Fire Damaged Bonhomme Richard Warship Will Cost US Navy $30M

  • Our Bureau
  • 04:51 AM, December 2, 2020
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Scrapping Fire Damaged Bonhomme Richard Warship Will Cost US Navy $30M
Firefighting teams as they try to extinguish fire aboard USS Bonhomme Richard vessel.

The US Navy has decided to scrap amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) that was severely damaged in a July 12 fire that raged for five days.

Decommissioning the ship, harvesting of parts, towing and scrapping the hull will cost about $30 million and take nine to 12 months, USNI News reported.

In contrast, restoring the ship to its original form would cost over $3 billion, and require between five and seven years to complete.

“We did not come to this decision lightly,” said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. “Following an extensive material assessment in which various courses of action were considered and evaluated, we came to the conclusion that it is not fiscally responsible to restore the Wasp-class ship."

The Navy also examined rebuilding the ship for alternate purposes and determined the cost could exceed $1 billion, which is as much or more than a new-construction hospital ship, submarine tender, or command-and-control ship.

Although the timeline for towing and dismantlement are still being finalized, the Navy will execute an inactivation availability that will remove systems and components for use in other ships.

Bonhomme Richard was nearing the end of a maintenance period when the fire broke out, and among the work that had been done to the ship was a modernization of computer and other systems to support F-35B Joint Strike Fighter operations. The Navy had spent $250 million for the 18-month upgrade.

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