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USS BONHOMME RICHARD TO BE SCRAPPED

The U.S. Navy has decided to scrap the fire-ravaged amphib USS Bonhomme Richard, weighing the extent of the damage and cost of repairs against the practical alternative of building a new ship. The Bonhomme Richard, sustained a fire in a lower hold on July 12 as she sat at a pier in San Diego. Winds off the bay and the location of the fire near ventilation shafts promoted the spread of the blaze, and despite a valiant five-day firefighting effort involving hundreds of sailors, the fire burned all the way up through the top of the superstructure. About sixty percent of the vessel’s interior compartments were damaged, in addition to her newly-upgraded flight deck. The Navy determined that the estimated cost of repair to bring Bonhomme Richard, back to fighting form was in the range of $2.5-3.2 billion, and the price of converting her into a hospital ship or other support vessel came in at around $1 billion. Neither option appeared attractive when compared with new-builds, according to Navy leadership.

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