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GDB
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:54 pm

[/quote="Aesma"]

Yeah, what is expensive in such a ship exactly, the hull, or all the equipment ?[/quote]


An adage that the RN certainly have re-discovered in the past two decades, 'Steel is cheap, air is free'. More importantly, influenced those holding the purse strings.
Used to be the Treasury slapped limits on size/displacement which influenced, negatively, designs such as the Type 42 Destroyer and arguably, the Invincible Class carriers.

When the 1998 Defence Review kicked off the search for new carriers, sizes of between 35-65000 tons were considered.
The Ministry Of Defence would have had a battle to get new carriers, of any size, past the Treasury, they must have demonstrated to them that the main costs are equipment, common to any credible design. The smaller designs would have limitations for little less costs, also at that stage the then JSF was at an early stage of development, so build big, not much more expensive but much more versatile and future proof.
Must have worked given the size of the QE Class carriers.

The USN has had a fraught time recently, those collisions a couple of years back, the chronic (political) mishandling of the Covid on the carrier and what happened to the Captain, now this. Yes it's a dockyard accident but it's happened to one of their relatively modern assets.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:26 am

Just a few hours ago, the firefighters aboard USS Bonhomme Richard were evacuated, because the ship began to list towards the pier.

https://twitter.com/Osinttechnical <-- this twitter account has some pictures from inside the gutted ship.
 
T4thH
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:54 pm

Fire is declared as extinguished, but ship is still on fire. There are flares (and this will not change the next days).
This is the regular problem with burning steel ships. especially war ships. It is the hot steel and additional in warships the high number of compartments, chambers,, cables e.g.
https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/smoke-seen-coming-from-uss-bonhomme-richard-hours-after-fires-declared-out
 
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Aesma
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:46 pm

Firefighters also caught COVID19 from what I read somewhere...
 
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Zkpilot
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:45 pm

Can almost guarantee that this ship is a write-off.
I expect however they might just tie her up in reserve for 5 or so years in case of war while they build a replacement.
She only had about 18 years of life left anyway, would take about 3 years to repair now so you’re down to around 15 years which isn’t a lot of life for a $2-3B repair. A new ship (with greater capabilities) is about $4B and you get 40 years out of it.
 
Ken777
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:31 pm

Zkpilot wrote:
Can almost guarantee that this ship is a write-off.
I expect however they might just tie her up in reserve for 5 or so years in case of war while they build a replacement .


I agree that she is a write-off - which is sad in a lot of ways.

I believe the she will stay tied up at the pier for a whip - it will take a lot of time to fully investigate all parts of the ship, then there will be a decommissioning ceremony and she wink be towed to the highest bidder for her scrap.

Some smaller ships are used for target practice, sinking them in the process. The last ship I was on participated in such a practice to send the USS Evans to her grave in '69. The EVANS had been cut in half when hit by the Australian carrier MELBOURNE and the rear half was towed to Subic Bay for the investigation. I saw her multiple times while she was there and then the day of the gun fire exercise. It was amazing how much she could take before skiing, All 3 ships started firing at 8 AM and then took a break for lunch. With no fuel and no ammunition she just took hit after hit - finally sinking around 3PM.

The Bonhomme Richard might be used for various attack testing, but you'll not see her sink.
 
T4thH
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:49 am

Ken777 wrote:
Zkpilot wrote:
Can almost guarantee that this ship is a write-off.
I expect however they might just tie her up in reserve for 5 or so years in case of war while they build a replacement .


I agree that she is a write-off - which is sad in a lot of ways.

I believe the she will stay tied up at the pier for a whip - it will take a lot of time to fully investigate all parts of the ship, then there will be a decommissioning ceremony and she wink be towed to the highest bidder for her scrap.

Some smaller ships are used for target practice, sinking them in the process. The last ship I was on participated in such a practice to send the USS Evans to her grave in '69. The EVANS had been cut in half when hit by the Australian carrier MELBOURNE and the rear half was towed to Subic Bay for the investigation. I saw her multiple times while she was there and then the day of the gun fire exercise. It was amazing how much she could take before skiing, All 3 ships started firing at 8 AM and then took a break for lunch. With no fuel and no ammunition she just took hit after hit - finally sinking around 3PM.

The Bonhomme Richard might be used for various attack testing, but you'll not see her sink.

First, it will take more than 3 years, to repair it. There were two areas with extreme high temperatures up to 1000°C; this was the area of the front part of the car/well deck deep down in the ship up to the hangar deck/island and the island itself and a second area in the bow.
If steel reaches a temperature around 600 to 700°C, it is finished, it starts to buckle of own weight.
All these parts have to be cut out and to completely replaced. As structural elements, these parts are destroyed. Also the island and all electronic systems in it, are gone to the maker, as also the whole front half to 2/3 of the hangar and the structural elements of the flight deck. The steel in these parts are in best case normalized, if had not even lost the structural strength and have buckled.
I expect, break down of the front half of the ship: Flight deck down to two floors below hangar deck floor and smaller parts down to three to four floors below hangar floor. These have to be completely replaced. Island of course complete, extensive replacements of parts of the ship in the area around the island down to the water line, especially a 5-10 m wide area at backboard hull site.
For a ship, which will in best case after 5 years repair, will be back on duty and will have a rest live of around 13 to 14 years after repair-> forget it, the ship is finished.



We have a new SINKEX tool, to play with. use two to three Mk48 or DM2A4, these shall be enough.
 
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Tugger
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:24 am

Where are people getting these made up numbers from? The fire was extensive but we don't know yet the damage involved. The refurbishment was a $250M contract.

Of we're throwing out numbers without validation, I'll say I'd be surprised if the damage is too much over 500M.

Tugg
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:28 am

$500 million isn't enough to do a major overhaul.
 
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Tugger
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:26 am

frmrCapCadet wrote:
$500 million isn't enough to do a major overhaul.

And does she need a major overhaul? Some are assuming she does but she wasn't in for one. And again, we don't know how much damage was actually done.

Also, NASSCO has built entire navy cargo ships for
$400M and commercial cargo ships for $300M.
They know how to cut ships open and rebuild them.

Tugg
 
T4thH
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:14 am

Tugger wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
$500 million isn't enough to do a major overhaul.

And does she need a major overhaul? Some are assuming she does but she wasn't in for one. And again, we don't know how much damage was actually done.

Also, NASSCO has built entire navy cargo ships for
$400M and commercial cargo ships for $300M.
They know how to cut ships open and rebuild them.

Tugg

Are you aware, that in my last post named the parts, which will likely to have to replaced? Sorry, but for your 250 to 500 million $, in best case you can replace the island structure and with 500 million, fitted with all the needed equipment inside. Something like this is expensive and the whole island including the equipment and all the needed structures and elements below (like pipes, power and data cables, and all electronic equipment) is gone to the maker. They have spent 250 millions, to upgrade the ship, so it can carry F-35; there was a reason, why there was so much work on the hangar box area, also this is now gone to the maker, as the hangar box is in the front 2/3, minimum front half destroyed and has to be exchanged and rebuild new. And than we shall not forget the floors below the hangar floor, which are harmed. And the central part from car/well deck up to the hangar deck, from where the fire has started and burned through to the upper floors and the hangar deck.
Sorry, it will need more than 500 million $ in duct tape, to fix the ship.
And it will need time, I expect 5 years? In such cases, easily also much more time can be wasted. And there is also the question, if all of the needed equipment, which has been destroyed, is still available and build? The ship is 18 years old.
 
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:15 pm

T4thH wrote:
And there is also the question, if all of the needed equipment, which has been destroyed, is still available and build? The ship is 18 years old.


That is probably not so relevant. The extent to which the ship has been damaged, they may as well use new equipment in production for the America class. But it would mean she would become a one-off.
 
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Tugger
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:18 pm

T4thH wrote:
Are you aware, that in my last post named the parts, which will likely to have to replaced? Sorry, but for your 250 to 500 million $, in best case you can replace the island structure and with 500 million, fitted with all the needed equipment inside. Something like this is expensive and the whole island including the equipment and all the needed structures and elements below (like pipes, power and data cables, and all electronic equipment) is gone to the maker. They have spent 250 millions, to upgrade the ship, so it can carry F-35; there was a reason, why there was so much work on the hangar box area, also this is now gone to the maker, as the hangar box is in the front 2/3, minimum front half destroyed and has to be exchanged and rebuild new. And than we shall not forget the floors below the hangar floor, which are harmed. And the central part from car/well deck up to the hangar deck, from where the fire has started and burned through to the upper floors and the hangar deck.
Sorry, it will need more than 500 million $ in duct tape, to fix the ship.
And it will need time, I expect 5 years? In such cases, easily also much more time can be wasted. And there is also the question, if all of the needed equipment, which has been destroyed, is still available and build? The ship is 18 years old.

You made sweeping generalizations in your earlier post. You noted the high temps and while correct in some way you honestly have no accurate information that the heat was as widespread as you state. Which voids your argument (from a knowledgeable standpoint vs just a guess) as to the extent of what will need replacing. Same with the island and additional structural elements of the ship.

It is possible you are right and I am wrong. It is possible I am right and you are wrong. But you are pretending "knowledge" and "facts" when you have neither on this situation. I am being open that I do not have the facts and I am awaiting actual information about the ship and its state and the ability to be resuscitated. We'll have to wait and see. The actual damage and its extent will determine what can be done.

Oh and an 18 year old ship is not "too old", ships can go 50 years if needed and properly maintained. If this ship can be repaired and serve another 10-20 years they will have more than recovered what scrapping would have lost. I don't know why so many just say "it's lost, scrap it". Any such decision will be made on facts and information, which we here mostly do not have (and those who do wouldn't share).

Tugg
 
ThePointblank
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:36 pm

Tugger wrote:
T4thH wrote:
Are you aware, that in my last post named the parts, which will likely to have to replaced? Sorry, but for your 250 to 500 million $, in best case you can replace the island structure and with 500 million, fitted with all the needed equipment inside. Something like this is expensive and the whole island including the equipment and all the needed structures and elements below (like pipes, power and data cables, and all electronic equipment) is gone to the maker. They have spent 250 millions, to upgrade the ship, so it can carry F-35; there was a reason, why there was so much work on the hangar box area, also this is now gone to the maker, as the hangar box is in the front 2/3, minimum front half destroyed and has to be exchanged and rebuild new. And than we shall not forget the floors below the hangar floor, which are harmed. And the central part from car/well deck up to the hangar deck, from where the fire has started and burned through to the upper floors and the hangar deck.
Sorry, it will need more than 500 million $ in duct tape, to fix the ship.
And it will need time, I expect 5 years? In such cases, easily also much more time can be wasted. And there is also the question, if all of the needed equipment, which has been destroyed, is still available and build? The ship is 18 years old.

You made sweeping generalizations in your earlier post. You noted the high temps and while correct in some way you honestly have no accurate information that the heat was as widespread as you state. Which voids your argument (from a knowledgeable standpoint vs just a guess) as to the extent of what will need replacing. Same with the island and additional structural elements of the ship.

It is possible you are right and I am wrong. It is possible I am right and you are wrong. But you are pretending "knowledge" and "facts" when you have neither on this situation. I am being open that I do not have the facts and I am awaiting actual information about the ship and its state and the ability to be resuscitated. We'll have to wait and see. The actual damage and its extent will determine what can be done.

Oh and an 18 year old ship is not "too old", ships can go 50 years if needed and properly maintained. If this ship can be repaired and serve another 10-20 years they will have more than recovered what scrapping would have lost. I don't know why so many just say "it's lost, scrap it". Any such decision will be made on facts and information, which we here mostly do not have (and those who do wouldn't share).

Tugg

The Navy also doesn't want to have any more steam-powered ships in the fleet, as they are slowly retiring them, along with the closure of the US Navy's boiler technician school a few years back. Basically, new sailors on the old steam ships are learning on the job from older, more senior engineers.

Considering the amount of damage that we can see with the Richard, I'm leaning towards constructive loss. It is not as simple as dealing with the steel replacement; you have thousands of miles of wiring, cable, fiber optics, and pipe. Then the berthing areas will need to be completely redone, followed by all of the electronics systems. All with no guarantee that the ship would still be functional without dozens of unique oddities based on warping and structural deformation. Years of work and likely half a billion dollars in cost minimum (her F-35B conversion work as a cool $250-300 million for what was fairly minor reconfiguration), for a ship that at most would have about 10-15 more years of service.

Remember, there was a report that the fire started in the lower vehicle deck. From what I've seen of the Wasp-class LHD's schematics, the machinery spaces run under the lower vehicle deck at the forward end but behind that extend up to the same level as the deckhead of the lower vehicle deck. Also a lot of the spaces forward of the well and hangar decks look to have been on fire, so the machinery probably has also been affected by the fire.

At that point, it would be easier to retire Richard early, and accelerate construction of the new America-class LHA's for the money spent on getting Richard back as a warship. If they need a replacement LHD in the interim, USS Nassau (LHA-4) or USS Peleliu (LHA-5) are in reserve and available.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:38 am

USS Bonhomme Richard is effectively gutted, with 11 out of 14 decks suffering from fire and water damage, encompassing the entire length and width of the ship:

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/07/fir ... no-gilday/

WASHINGTON: The USS Bonhomme Richard suffered fire and water damage on 11 of its 14 decks, with damage “nearly encompassing the 844 ft length and 106 ft beam of the ship,” the Navy’s top admiral said in an email to his fellow admirals and Master Chiefs Wednesday. Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Michael Gilday, has said he thinks the amphibious ship — designed to carry Marines, helicopters, and planes like the F-35B — could be repaired, but that it might more cost-effective to replace it.

The internal note provided Gilday’s first unvarnished assessment of the damage to the vessel, which burned for four days last week while pierside in San Diego.

“I walked sections of the ship 5 levels below and had the opportunity to examine the superstructure,” the admiral said in the email obtained by Breaking Defense. “The island is nearly gutted, as are sections of some of the decks below… nearly encompassing the 844 ft length and 106 ft beam of the ship….[and] sections of the flight deck are warped/bulging.”


I can't see the Navy fixing the amount of damage being described because of the costs involved; I very much expect her next port of call being Brownsville, Texas, and it would be a one way journey.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:00 pm

The Wasp class is a 41,150 ton class vessel. The 23,300 ton Polar Security Cutter 1st ship is $750M.
ESB-6, 7 were awarded to NASSCO in 2019 for about $500M each for this.

I agree with those above that the Bonhomme Richard would cost more to rebuild than to just buy another America class LHA.

But it could be a great candidate for becoming a Sealift Command ship similar to a ESB. Yes a new island and a lot of work but dropping construction standards from a USN ship to the USNS standard would allow a lot of lightly damaged steel to remain, that could not take the higher demands of combat duty. Something like a modern day RORO like the Bob Hope Class except being able to use the well deck for hovercraft or similar. Restoration and conversion could be on the order of $300-$500M.

The big ifs are a) the damage to the propulsion plant b) damage to the rear ramp and c) damage to the aircraft elevators.
 
Max Q
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:13 pm

Out of curiosity does the Navy have insurance on this and it’s other vessels?
 
texl1649
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:57 pm

The Bon Homme Richard had only another 8 years left of service life. It’s functionally worthless now.
 
Ozair
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:40 am

Max Q wrote:
Out of curiosity does the Navy have insurance on this and it’s other vessels?

Militaries self insure which even then only occurs if the aircraft/ship/tank etc is replaced which it may not be. For example the RAAF lost one of their twelve Growlers, the fleet is now eleven and a decision has not been made yet whether it will be replaced or not.
 
DigitalSea
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:11 pm

Maybe this was China's payback for the fire on their LHD a little while back.
 
Ken777
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:19 am

T4thH
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We have a new SINKEX tool, to play with. use two to three Mk48 or DM2A4, these shall be enough.


By the time you get here out to sea so you can safely sink her you're better off greeting the cash from a stripper.
 
T4thH
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:25 pm

Ken777 wrote:
T4thH
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We have a new SINKEX tool, to play with. use two to three Mk48 or DM2A4, these shall be enough.


By the time you get here out to sea so you can safely sink her you're better off greeting the cash from a stripper.

1. I hope, everyone was aware, that my answer was not 100% to be taken serious...
To discuss it serious:
2. as the global economy is down, steel is now cheap again. Prior SINKEX, the ship will be stripped of the electronic equipment and of all noble metals, toxic wastes, oil, fuel e.g. But this will be the same prior scrapping, as long as a ship is not scrapped at a beach in India. So, the value of the steel is limited, and prior broken up or SINKEX, value materials and waste/fuels e.g. have to be disposed, so this is the same.
3. Has any of the up to date carriers and/or assault ships been tested for underwater/torpedo explosions? It is time again, to test the underwater protection.
 
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ssteve
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:31 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
I agree with those above that the Bonhomme Richard would cost more to rebuild than to just buy another America class LHA.


Sounds like the 2(?) berths where they might build a replacement are booked for LHA8 and LHA9. So, would need, maybe, another spot here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ingalls+Shipbuilding/@30.3466384,-88.5787242,483m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x889bef4144913499:0x36cb9ea66f002bf6!8m2!3d30.3504909!4d-88.574953

Would take quite a few years...
 
texl1649
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:18 pm

It will take at least 10 years to fund/build it’s replacement, so there is time to find a berth. Interestingly, a DoD budget crunch is likely in the coming years however, and especially if there is a ‘President Biden’ I suspect no replacement will be built in the next 15 years. 11 total LHA’s were planned with the new ‘America” class I thought.

The whole reason for the extensive/expensive refit was to enable it to carry/deploy F-35B’s, so new-builds would probably make a lot more sense than revisiting this process of upgrades. The Izumo class in Japan seems to me like a simpler approach to getting a small squadron of F-35B’s floating about the south-west Pacific, fwiw.
 
Ozair
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:15 am

texl1649 wrote:
The whole reason for the extensive/expensive refit was to enable it to carry/deploy F-35B’s, so new-builds would probably make a lot more sense than revisiting this process of upgrades. The Izumo class in Japan seems to me like a simpler approach to getting a small squadron of F-35B’s floating about the south-west Pacific, fwiw.

The issue is more about the timeline of those deployments. The Bonhomme Richard was slated for multiple deployments into the Indo Pacific region with F-35B across 2021-2023. There aren’t sufficient other vessels capable and available to now take over those deployments that also field the F-35B. The US politically and the USMC operationally were very keen to get F-35Bs into that theatre on an almost permanent basis.

As per here, https://news.usni.org/2020/07/10/state- ... ghter-deal the Izumos won’t be ready for some time. Izumo is currently going through an initial modification but won’t have the final F-35 compatibility work completed until 2025 while Kaga is going to be in refit all through 2022 and won’t be available until 2023 at the earliest.

I’m not sure what the implications for F-35B deployments are now going forward unless some radical decisions are made, such as the highly unlikely scenario of a rush job putting Peleliu back into service and F-35B compatible, but LHA-8 won’t be with the fleet until 2024 and LHA-9 is probably a couple of years behind that.
 
texl1649
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:01 am

The USMC/USN treat those deployments with F-35B’s as sacrosanct power projections, but I don’t really understand how/why. Yes, there’s some ability there but for about 8 F-35’s, without any aerial refueling capacity, on a small group of ships I don’t see how it really changes China’s posture in a given area much.

I did think the Izumo’s were coming along more quickly but either way it’s a similar force capability, though I expect the Japanese to keep them closer to Japanese waters.
 
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Zkpilot
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:08 pm

I did read one suggestion by a military writer that said the USN should buy a few supertankers that are currently sitting idle (pick them up for a bargain). Fit them out with a deck and use them as a floating airstrip. Only have minimal parts and personnel onboard with maintenance done further back at a safer distance on carriers etc.

While a supertanker is a big target, they are quite hard to sink (especially when empty), they’re a much cheaper option than an LHA and losing one or two isn’t going to change much compared to losing actual carriers etc.

Interesting idea.
 
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cjg225
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:20 pm

Zkpilot wrote:
I did read one suggestion by a military writer that said the USN should buy a few supertankers that are currently sitting idle (pick them up for a bargain). Fit them out with a deck and use them as a floating airstrip. Only have minimal parts and personnel onboard with maintenance done further back at a safer distance on carriers etc.

While a supertanker is a big target, they are quite hard to sink (especially when empty), they’re a much cheaper option than an LHA and losing one or two isn’t going to change much compared to losing actual carriers etc.

Interesting idea.

Wouldn't they be fairly unstable empty, even with a wide beam?
 
Ozair
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:55 pm

Zkpilot wrote:
I did read one suggestion by a military writer that said the USN should buy a few supertankers that are currently sitting idle (pick them up for a bargain). Fit them out with a deck and use them as a floating airstrip. Only have minimal parts and personnel onboard with maintenance done further back at a safer distance on carriers etc.

Interesting idea.

The Afloat Forward Storage Base (AFSB) concept has been around for a while, info here, https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... p/afsb.htm

Image

and the UK obviously used the Atlantic Conveyor in a not dissimilar role (noting not actual missions).

The AFSB is more focused on rotary wing and SOCOM support but I expect the general concept is the same. I expect it wouldn’t be that difficult to alter as you suggest a cargo vessel to operate in that role, even a new bare vessel is a hell of a lot cheaper than an LHA but has correspondingly a hell of a lot less capability. You would need a significant refit to accommodate military systems, radars, landing aids, fuelling, weapons storage and elevators, self defence equipment such as CIWS etc. Once that is all done how close is that cost to a new LHA and how much time would that type of modification take?

For the aircraft as per the latest SAR the F-35B at the moment is capable of taking off from an LHA with 471 feet of deck with 10 knts WOD equipped with two 1,000 lb JDAM and two AIM-120s for a 450nm mission radius profile. It is less if you equip the vessel with a ski jump so likely there would be no problems running fully capable and equipped aircraft of the ship.

Zkpilot wrote:
While a supertanker is a big target, they are quite hard to sink (especially when empty), they’re a much cheaper option than an LHA and losing one or two isn’t going to change much compared to losing actual carriers etc.

From ASCMs perhaps but I expect a modern heavy weight torpedo should have little problems breaking the back of even a supertanker sized vessel. The cost issue is less the vessel though and more the aircraft. At approx. US$100 mil per aircraft the cost of the airwing dwarfs the vessel so an ASCM attack that burns the aircraft but the ship survives isn’t a great outcome.

cjg225 wrote:
Wouldn't they be fairly unstable empty, even with a wide beam?

Noting I know little about non military ships how empty is it going to be? With aviation fuel and weapons, basic maintenance staff and probably some well placed ballast I expect it could work. Politically the USN would hate it though. If you can buy and build a STOVL tanker based carrier for half or a third of the price of an LHA it may cloud the justification for current and planned vessels. Noting this concept isn’t a survivable platform compared and wouldn’t have a well deck etc.
 
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Zkpilot
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:10 am

cjg225 wrote:
Zkpilot wrote:
I did read one suggestion by a military writer that said the USN should buy a few supertankers that are currently sitting idle (pick them up for a bargain). Fit them out with a deck and use them as a floating airstrip. Only have minimal parts and personnel onboard with maintenance done further back at a safer distance on carriers etc.

While a supertanker is a big target, they are quite hard to sink (especially when empty), they’re a much cheaper option than an LHA and losing one or two isn’t going to change much compared to losing actual carriers etc.

Interesting idea.

Wouldn't they be fairly unstable empty, even with a wide beam?

When I say empty, I should have clarified as in empty of bulk fuel etc. You can still have ballast and/or water in the otherwise empty tanks to stabilise the vessel.
 
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Zkpilot
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:19 am

Ozair wrote:
Zkpilot wrote:
I did read one suggestion by a military writer that said the USN should buy a few supertankers that are currently sitting idle (pick them up for a bargain). Fit them out with a deck and use them as a floating airstrip. Only have minimal parts and personnel onboard with maintenance done further back at a safer distance on carriers etc.

Interesting idea.

The Afloat Forward Storage Base (AFSB) concept has been around for a while, info here, https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... p/afsb.htm

Image

and the UK obviously used the Atlantic Conveyor in a not dissimilar role (noting not actual missions).

The AFSB is more focused on rotary wing and SOCOM support but I expect the general concept is the same. I expect it wouldn’t be that difficult to alter as you suggest a cargo vessel to operate in that role, even a new bare vessel is a hell of a lot cheaper than an LHA but has correspondingly a hell of a lot less capability. You would need a significant refit to accommodate military systems, radars, landing aids, fuelling, weapons storage and elevators, self defence equipment such as CIWS etc. Once that is all done how close is that cost to a new LHA and how much time would that type of modification take?

For the aircraft as per the latest SAR the F-35B at the moment is capable of taking off from an LHA with 471 feet of deck with 10 knts WOD equipped with two 1,000 lb JDAM and two AIM-120s for a 450nm mission radius profile. It is less if you equip the vessel with a ski jump so likely there would be no problems running fully capable and equipped aircraft of the ship.

Zkpilot wrote:
While a supertanker is a big target, they are quite hard to sink (especially when empty), they’re a much cheaper option than an LHA and losing one or two isn’t going to change much compared to losing actual carriers etc.

From ASCMs perhaps but I expect a modern heavy weight torpedo should have little problems breaking the back of even a supertanker sized vessel. The cost issue is less the vessel though and more the aircraft. At approx. US$100 mil per aircraft the cost of the airwing dwarfs the vessel so an ASCM attack that burns the aircraft but the ship survives isn’t a great outcome.

cjg225 wrote:
Wouldn't they be fairly unstable empty, even with a wide beam?

Noting I know little about non military ships how empty is it going to be? With aviation fuel and weapons, basic maintenance staff and probably some well placed ballast I expect it could work. Politically the USN would hate it though. If you can buy and build a STOVL tanker based carrier for half or a third of the price of an LHA it may cloud the justification for current and planned vessels. Noting this concept isn’t a survivable platform compared and wouldn’t have a well deck etc.

Yeah that the concept.
Wouldn’t necessarily need all of that gear as it would be accompanied by escorts. If the navy can build a brand new FFG with all of that (And more) including the actual vessel and the costs of fitting it into a smaller vessel for under $1B then pretty sure they could put some of that on a much larger vessel for a lot less cost.
Depending on how they plan to operate it, if it is simply just a runway with limited maintenance, stores, crew etc then it Really shouldn’t cost a lot. The escorts should take care of any subs so would be very hard to get a heavyweight fish near the ship. A lightweight fish might cause significant damage but unlikely to sink the ship giving it time to RTB for repairs. Adding a ski jump would be very cheap. Might not even need full scale arresting gear. Perhaps just a couple of arresters halfway along the ship (a bit like some land runways have). This ship would be run like an old school flattop with straight runway.
 
Ozair
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:26 am

Zkpilot wrote:
Yeah that the concept.
Wouldn’t necessarily need all of that gear as it would be accompanied by escorts. If the navy can build a brand new FFG with all of that (And more) including the actual vessel and the costs of fitting it into a smaller vessel for under $1B then pretty sure they could put some of that on a much larger vessel for a lot less cost.

No doubt and it would likely be easier to custom build a new vessel than modify one already sitting idle.

Zkpilot wrote:
Adding a ski jump would be very cheap. Might not even need full scale arresting gear. Perhaps just a couple of arresters halfway along the ship (a bit like some land runways have). This ship would be run like an old school flattop with straight runway.

With F-35B they don't even need arrestor gear as the aircraft will land vertically. There probably hasn't been a better time to create a vessel like this given the capability the F-35B can offer from its decks. Combine with some MV-22 fitted for A2A refuel and AEW&C and they have range and airspace awareness. The next step is cover a similarly modified supertanker with SM-6 and LRASM from VLS that are controlled from associated escorts and create a taskforce that becomes very difficult to stop.

As a thought exercise if you equipped a Panamax with VLS you could conceivably fit more than 1500 eight cell VLS modules with a corresponding 12,000 SM-6... Even equipping a vessel with 10% of that load is still a shocking large and imposing asset. The cost of the ship then becomes insignificant compared to the cost of the missiles.
 
texl1649
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:02 pm

The Ponce was decommissioned a few years ago, and the USS Puller exists, but I don’t think the decks are hardened enough for the F-35’s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expeditio ... nsfer_Dock

If the Navy could move quickly/get serious (as they claim this is absolutely a critical capability), I’m sure changes to the relatively simple deck structure of the Puller (and follow on ships) could be modified to handle the F-35 exhaust (they can handle CH-53’s and V-22’s), but clearing for a rolling take-off would mean modifying the forward structure. Still, these are a class of 5 ships (ESB is what evolved from AFSB) that are funded/being built for such a similar purpose, so again it shouldn’t be...all that difficult really (though I also think they’d need to add a real elevator).
 
LightningZ71
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:59 pm

I don't see the Ponce or the Puller as viable for the F-35 as it needs a rolling take off to carry a useful war load. Neither of them offer that possibility.

The recently retired Peleliu is the most likely candidate for regeneration, but it would take a LOT of resources to make it work for F-35 activities. Instead, I could see them bringing her back to handle Harrier ops while a different WASP is rushed through upgrades to support the F-35s. But, and this is the biggie, the Tarwa's are significantly less capable than the wasps with their ability to support fixed wing ops severely curtailed. They were typically limited to only 6 Harriers, whereas the Wasps can handle up to 20.

I think that the Navy will just decide to "make do" with what they have, and delay the decomissioning of older Wasp class vessels until they can get caught back up through an increased pace of ship building.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:34 am

More pictures of some of the damage to Richard:

https://twitter.com/mercoglianos/status ... 0918780929

This one is really striking:

Image

The guy is looking up 4 decks of nothing through the island superstructure. The fire melted through all the decks in the island superstructure straight through the roof.
 
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Zkpilot
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:27 am

ThePointblank wrote:
More pictures of some of the damage to Richard:

https://twitter.com/mercoglianos/status ... 0918780929

This one is really striking:

Image

The guy is looking up 4 decks of nothing through the island superstructure. The fire melted through all the decks in the island superstructure straight through the roof.

Yup she’s a write off!
 
zanl188
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:10 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
More pictures of some of the damage to Richard:

https://twitter.com/mercoglianos/status ... 0918780929

This one is really striking:

Image

The guy is looking up 4 decks of nothing through the island superstructure. The fire melted through all the decks in the island superstructure straight through the roof.


This was aluminum structure correct? Why is aluminum used in warships?
 
texl1649
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:33 pm

That'll buff out.

Seriously, that ship is done. The USN needs to get a grip on maintenance/overhaul so that this kind of crap doesn't happen any longer.
 
DigitalSea
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:44 pm

Yikes, I wonder what our adversaries learned about this. Sabotage & Arson are how you bring down the US Navy!
 
jagraham
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:52 pm

Ken777 wrote:
T4thH
Topic Author
Posts: 950
Joined: last year

We have a new SINKEX tool, to play with. use two to three Mk48 or DM2A4, these shall be enough.


By the time you get here out to sea so you can safely sink her you're better off greeting the cash from a stripper.


The contracts to scrap the non-nuclear carriers did not return money to the Navy. All Star Metals usually pays a penny or a dollar. The hazardous materials make scrapping military ships much more costly than scrapping commercial ships.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/scrapped-for ... nal-voyage
 
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cjg225
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:33 pm

texl1649 wrote:
That'll buff out.

Seriously, that ship is done. The USN needs to get a grip on maintenance/overhaul so that this kind of crap doesn't happen any longer.

Little bit of bondo and we're good to go.

This seems like something where she might have some scrap value and we just bring back a reverse Tarawa-class.
 
strfyr51
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:02 pm

BowlingShoeDC9 wrote:
Hopefully being in port means that there weren’t many sailors aboard. Last I heard, 23 were in the hospital.

Does anyone know if planes and ordinance would be on board? I ask because ship seems like it was undergoing some sort of maintenance.

A US carriers usually do not come into port with the aircraft on it. the airplanes usually leave the carrier to be on land when it docks and departs and are then flown out TO the carrier..
 
LMP737
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:06 am

zanl188 wrote:

This was aluminum structure correct? Why is aluminum used in warships?


Because the Navy likes to relearn the same lessons over and over.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:19 am

zanl188 wrote:

This was aluminum structure correct? Why is aluminum used in warships?

Weight balance issues, lightness, and it is very rigid for the weight, as you can use much thicker material for the same weight in steel. It just has a lower melting temperature compared to steel.
 
zanl188
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:35 am

ThePointblank wrote:
It just has a lower melting temperature compared to steel.


Which would appear to have negative consequences in regards to combat survivability.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:31 am

A tidbit about aluminium - regarding the USS Belknap, which had an Al superstructure:

The fire and the resultant damage and deaths, which would have been less had Belknap's superstructure been made of steel, helped persuade the US Navy to pursue all-steel construction in future classes of surface combatants.[2] However, in 1987 the New York Times cited cracking in aluminum superstructures such as what occurred in the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, rather than fire, as the reason the Navy returned to steel on some ships.[3] The first USN combatant ships to revert to all steel superstructure were the Arleigh Burke class, which were commissioned beginning in the 1990s.

Wikipedia on USS Belknap
 
ThePointblank
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:29 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
A tidbit about aluminium - regarding the USS Belknap, which had an Al superstructure:

The fire and the resultant damage and deaths, which would have been less had Belknap's superstructure been made of steel, helped persuade the US Navy to pursue all-steel construction in future classes of surface combatants.[2] However, in 1987 the New York Times cited cracking in aluminum superstructures such as what occurred in the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, rather than fire, as the reason the Navy returned to steel on some ships.[3] The first USN combatant ships to revert to all steel superstructure were the Arleigh Burke class, which were commissioned beginning in the 1990s.

Wikipedia on USS Belknap

Mostly because of differences between how rigid aluminum is for the weight, and the different expansion properties between steel and aluminum.
 
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Slug71
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:31 pm

zanl188 wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
It just has a lower melting temperature compared to steel.


Which would appear to have negative consequences in regards to combat survivability.


Even steel would probably have warped really bad under those temps, and seriously compromised the structure.
 
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smithbs
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:57 pm

Aluminum is tempting to use because of the many qualities it has compared to steel. However, aluminum will melt and even burn to the ground, if it gets hot enough. M113s and Bradley's are good examples. For a M113 it's ok because by the time the aluminum starts to melt or even burn, you will either be long gone or already dead. With a ship, there aren't a lot of options.
 
Ozair
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Re: USS Bonhomme Richard (Wasp-class amphibious assault ship) is on fire

Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:14 am

smithbs wrote:
Aluminum is tempting to use because of the many qualities it has compared to steel. However, aluminum will melt and even burn to the ground, if it gets hot enough. M113s and Bradley's are good examples. For a M113 it's ok because by the time the aluminum starts to melt or even burn, you will either be long gone or already dead. With a ship, there aren't a lot of options.

The USS Stark attack and subsequent fire, the Belknap fire in 75 and the Falklands incidents also factored into the USN going steel on the DDG-51. I think a lot of navies have/are moving to steel or composite superstructures for fire and stealth considerations.

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