The Navy will decommission the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard, rather than try to repair the severe damage it sustained in a July fire. The decision to do so came after the Navy conducted a thorough assessment of the Wasp-class vessel and determined that making her seaworthy again would cost upwards of $3 billion and take five to seven years to complete. Restoring the ship for purposes other than amphibious assault also would be too costly, with the price tag estimated at roughly $1 billion. The timeline for towing and dismantlement is still to be determined. Meanwhile, work on removing usable systems and components will begin soon.
“We did not come this decision lightly,” Navy Secretary Kenneth J. Braithwaite said. “We came to the conclusion that it is not fiscally responsible to restore her.”
Bonhomme Richard had been in service 22 years. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.