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Navy to scrap arson-damaged USS Miami

Written by Nick Blenkey

USS Miami fireAUGUST 7, 2013 — The Navy has decided to scrap the USS Miami instead of repairing the arson-damaged nuclear-powered submarine. Repairs to the vessel at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard were initially estimated to run about $450 million. However inspections have now revealed that a significant number of components in the torpedo room and auxiliary machinery room would require replacement, further driving up the repair costs.

Because of budget cuts and sequestration, repairing the Miami would have meant canceling work on dozens of other ships.

“The Navy and the nation simply cannot afford to weaken other fleet readiness in the way that would be required to afford repairs to Miami,” Rear Adm. Rick Breckenridge, director of undersea warfare, said in a statement.

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Angus King (I-ME) released the following statement regarding the news that the U.S. Navy will not pursue plans to repair the USS Miami.

“We are disappointed by the Navy’s decision to discontinue repairs to the USS Miami. Inactivating the Miami will mean a loss to our nuclear submarine fleet – yet another unfortunate consequence of the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration. We will continue to work together to find a responsible budget solution that replaces sequestration.

“We do recognize that the Navy has determined that the damage to the Miami is more severe than originally thought and would require a significant increase in anticipated repair costs. We are also encouraged that the Chief of Naval Operations has assured us that the inactivation process and other planned maintenance work at PNSY will continue to provide a consistent workload in the long term for the shipyard’s skilled and dedicated workforce.”

NOTE: It has now emerged that the Navy is using the term “inactivate” rather than “scrap.” Read these comments from Admiral Breckenridge,

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