U.S. Navy Decommissions Fire-Damaged Warship

  • Our Bureau
  • 09:04 AM, April 16, 2021
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U.S. Navy Decommissions Fire-Damaged Warship
Decommissioning of USS Bonhomme Richard warship.

The U.S. Navy decommissioned its Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), severely damaged in a July 2020 fire.

A decommissioning ceremony was held at Naval Base San Diego on April 14. The warship will be towed to International Shipbreaking Limited, LLC's facility in Brownsville, Texas for dismantlement, the Navy said.

The ship that ignited July 12 last year burned for four days and was left with extensive structural, electrical and mechanical damage.

U.S. Navy Decommissions Fire-Damaged Warship
Firefighting teams try to extinguish fire aboard USS Bonhomme Richard vessel on July 12, 2020.

The Navy estimated that repairing the ship would run more than $2.5 billion for 5-7 years. Dismantling the ship is expected to cost about $30 million and less than a year.

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.

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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