US Navy refused to repair the USS Bonhomme Richard and decided to retire it

WASHINGTON, (BM) – The US Navy decided to abandon the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship’s repair, which had a fire in July 2020, learned citing Defence24. The destruction of eleven of the fourteen decks of this great ship became so large that the authorities decided to withdraw this unit from service in the US Navy.

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The pessimistic forecasts of specialists turned out to be prophetic. The fire that appeared on July 12, 2020, on the American USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship caused so much damage that its repair is not profitable. The decision was not that simple, and it was preceded by in-depth analyzes, as the Secretary of the US Navy Kenneth Braithwaite personally convinced.

“We didn’t make this decision lightly. After an extensive, substantive assessment in which various directions of action were considered and assessed, we concluded that restoring the ship to its original condition is not financially viable. Although I am sad that bringing the unit back is not profitable. I know that the legacy of this ship will still be lived thanks to the brave men and women who fought so hard to save him and the sailors and marines who served on board in its 22-year history “, Kenneth J. Braithwaite – Secretary of the US Navy.

The special commission assessed the ship’s damage estimated that the cost of rebuilding the USS Bonhomme Richard could exceed $ 3 billion. According to them, that repair work could take five to seven years, which is too long. Therefore, the repair would take twice as long as the construction, which began on April 18, 1995, and ended with the transfer of the vessel to the US Navy on August 15, 1998. It would also be twice as expensive as estimating that one new Wasp-class helicopter cost around $ 1.5 billion.

It was also not agreed to convert the ship for other purposes because even then, the repair and work costs were valued at over a billion dollars. The US Navy decided that, for example, a new hospital ship, a new submarine, or a new command and control ship cost the same.

Ultimately, the Pentagon decided to make a radical move and withdraw the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship from the US Navy. But even such a decision will generate additional costs for the US Navy. The ship’s deactivation alone will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. First of all, it will be necessary to remove those systems use on the other seven Wasp helicopters. Additionally, the unit’s dismantling will have to carry out following the stringent environmental protection rules.

All this time, it will also be necessary to protect the ship – including against subsequent fires. At the same time, new rules for securing US vessels against fire are going to be developing. As it turned out, even the crew’s dedication did not help stop the fire, and the equipment used turned out to be insufficiently effective. During these analyses, the conclusions drawn should be implemented on the remaining US Navy ships in cooperation with industry partners. The Americans make it very clear that “all investigations related to the fire onboard the LHD 6 are still ongoing”.

However, the biggest problem is that of the Pacific Fleet, to which the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship was assigned. This fleet will have to perform its tasks with one significant ship less at its disposal.

Read more: US war ship caught fire at the American naval base in San Diego


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