Friday, July 17, 2020

USS Bonhomme Richard

The fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard is finally out. It burned up through from the lower decks and through most of the upper compartments of the ship. If I had to make a wager, I would say she will never sail again. The hull was laid down in 1995 and she has been operational since 1997. Repairs would be a significant portion of a replacement and you would still have a 25 year old ship.

Here she was, during launches, while forward deployed. It shows what she could do with wind across her decks and short take-off capable aircraft. Not a carrier exactly, but something special in her own right.


Jonathan H said...

That is sad. I agree that more than likely it won't get repaired.

Keep in mind that no other country has more than 4 of these; the US has 24 AND has 11 'real' carriers, of which there are only 3 others in the word. This bad news, but not as bad as it would be for any other country.

Old NFO said...

She's going to be stuck. No way that much damage can be repaired.

Borepatch said...

It's amazing that she was built in only 2 years. Basically she was as big as an Essex Class WWII carrier.

We could still build ships in 1995.

Unknown said...

I remember at the time of the 2nd gulf war teasing my British colleagues that the 'Ark Royal', their only aircraft carrier in the gulf, was being used "only" as a helicopter landing platform, while the USA had "not aircraft carriers" such as the 'Bonhomme Richard' operating with two dozen harrier jets and over 600 sorties in a month in support of ground troops.

And much more recently people were making a stink over the Christmas holiday period about "for the first time all US carriers are in port", and I was thinking to myself that if any nation tried mischief in response to that news, they'd get a reminder that Americans only consider CVNs to be 'carriers' per-se, and we very likely had one or more Wasp or America class ships in their neighborhood.

LSP said...

Recall the ChiCom ship that caught fire in dock not so long ago.

Wayne said...


Glen Filthie said...

I’m just glad nothing exploded.

Yannow I can tolerate jump jets and rotorcraft... but those Ospreys are bad aerodynamic juju.

ZBM-2 said...

Definitely a total loss. A real tragedy for the Navy in general and surface fleet in particular. At least no one died, but a loss like this is horrific all the same. And not just for the loss of capability it represents.

I'd quibble on the "Not a carrier exactly", because her capabilities met or exceeded those of the ships that most nations have on their lists as "carriers."

The Freeholder said...

I agree, she's probably for the scrappers. Pity, because she still had years left in her. I'll be interested to see how this play out over time.

Anyone notice the yellow shirt shaking the hand of every Marine as they filed out to get on the bird? Class act.

Roy said...

I guess it depends entirely upon whether it can be rebuilt "economically", i.e. would the rebuilt ship be worth the money spent.

There have been others. Back in 1975, the USS Belknap (CG-26) collided with the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) off Sicily and its superstructure was almost entirely destroyed by the ensuing fire. (It was made of aluminum.) Regardless, they rebuilt Belknap and she served for another 20 years, even becoming a flagship.

I have heard that the engineering spaces of the BHR were mostly unscathed. Like the Belknap, that I think, is going to be a key factor - along with any possible structural damage - on whether or not she is repaired.

We'll see. Most of us, including me, are just speculating at this point. I am just glad that no one was seriously injured or killed.