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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

August 5, 2009

Repair bill for collision sub soars

The Navy faces an ever growing bill for the costs of repairs to USS Hartford (SSN 768), the submarine involved in a collision with the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) in the Strait of Hormuz back in March. The final tally looks like it could well exceed $100 million.

General Dynamics, Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Conn., was today awarded a $65,200,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for installation of a hull patch, bridge access trunk, sail and port retractable bow plane, as well as perform mandatory corrective maintenance actions required for the repair and restoration of USS Hartford (SSN 768). Work will be performed in Groton, Conn., (90 percent) and Quonset, R.I., (10 percent), and is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $31,950,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-4413).

This latest award follows a $21,600,000 modification in July to a previously awarded $15,800,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The modification covered off-hull fabrication of the port retractable bow plane, and material procurement and off-hull fabrication of the sail for the Hartford. The $15.8 million contract, prior to the modification, covered advance planning and off-hull fabrication of the replacement hull patch and bridge access trunk, advance planning and material procurement for the port retractable bow plane, and advance planning for the sail for restoration of thr Hartford (SSN 768) to full service condition.

After the March collision, the commanding officer of Hartford), CDR. Ryan Brookhart, was relieved of his command. He was not the first commander of the Hartford to have that experience, In 2003, the then commander, CDR Christopher R. Van Metre, and Captain Greg Parker, Commodore of Submarine Squadron 22, were relieved of command and sent back to the United States after the Hartford ran aground on October 25, while performing routine maneuvers in the harbor of La Maddalena, Sardinia.


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