The Navy has decided to scrap the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibian offensive that broke out in San Diego this summer, officials said Monday.
Naval Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said the decision was made after officials found the damage was too great and the cost of repairs too high to justify rescuing the ship.
“We didn’t make that decision easily,” Braithwaite said. “After a comprehensive material evaluation in which various courses of action were considered and evaluated, we concluded that it was not financially responsible for its restoration.”
The fire broke out on July 12 and lasted for four days. The ship to deploy a naval landing force was at a naval base in San Diego after spending six years in Japan.
Investigators believe the fire was intentionally created, but the Navy has not yet officially declared it arson.
The damage caused by the fire was significant. “Probably 60% of the ship would need to be replaced,” including the mast, the island, and the levels below the cockpit, said Rear Admiral Eric Ver Hage, commander of the Navy’s regional maintenance center.
Following a comprehensive review, the Navy concluded that the reconstruction of the ship would cost more than $ 3 billion and take five to seven years. Braithwaite said the Navy also looked at rebuilding the ship for alternative purposes, but found that the cost could exceed $ 1 billion, which he said will cost as much or more than building new hospital ships, submarine tenders or command and control ships.
The Navy has already begun preparations to tow the USS Bonhomme and harvest parts for other ships.
“You’ll end up being scrapped,” Ver Hage said.