US Navy decides to scrap USS Bonhomme Richards
After deep evaluations, the US Navy agreed to decommission a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), due to the significant damage suffered during the July fire.
“Although it saddens me that it is not cost effective to bring her back, I know this ship’s legacy will continue to live on through the brave men and women who fought so hard to save her, as well as the Sailors and Marines who served aboard her during her 22-year history,” said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite.
The Navy performed a detailed material assessment following the fire that found that the cost of rebuilding Bonhomme Richard could reach $3 billion and take five to seven years to complete.
The Navy also analyzed the reconstruction of the vessel for alternative purposes and calculated that the expense could reach $1 billion, which is as much or more than a hospital ship, submarine tender, or command-and-control ship of new construction.
Since July, the Navy has taken numerous actions across the Fleet and shore facilities to include urgent fire safety and prevention changes. Working collaboratively, the fleet commanders formed a Fire Safety Assessment Program to perform random evaluations of the compliance of ships with Navy fire-safety regulations, with priority given to ships eligible for maintenance.
The Naval Sea Systems Command has provided advisory guidance on fire prevention requirements to all supervisory authorities and has outlined corrective actions to improve fire protection, damage control and firefighting doctrines, all of which will be implemented in close cooperation with industry partners.
Both fire-related inquiries onboard LHD 6 remain ongoing. The Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet is assigned to the USS Bonhomme Richard.
Maritime Business World