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Work Begins to Repair Fire-Damaged Submarine

Sep. 14, 2012 - 06:36PM   |  
By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS   |   Comments
A firefighter walks off the submarine Miami on May 24, the morning after an arsonist started a devastating fire on the nuclear-powered warship. Both U.S. submarine builders have teamed up to rebuild the Miami and return the 22-year-old undersea craft to service.
A firefighter walks off the submarine Miami on May 24, the morning after an arsonist started a devastating fire on the nuclear-powered warship. Both U.S. submarine builders have teamed up to rebuild the Miami and return the 22-year-old undersea craft to service. (Navy)
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Both U.S. submarine builders have teamed up to rebuild the nuclear-powered attack submarine Miami and return the 22-year-old undersea craft to service.

On Friday, the team of General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) was awarded a $94 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with an option worth another $6 million for advanced planning and material efforts for repairs to the submarine.

In a statement, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said the contract would allow the sub builders “to provide design and planning services, repair material ordering, and pre-fabrication efforts” to repair the Miami.

The submarine was severely damaged May 23 by a fire started by an arsonist at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. The Miami was only a few weeks into what was to have been a 20-month overhaul.

The Navy has estimated it will cost about $450 million to fully restore the submarine, which is expected to provide about another decade of service to the U.S. Navy. The repair work is expected to be completed in April 2015.

“With this contract, the Navy and its shipbuilding and maintenance partners will be able to develop a repair plan that gets this warship back to the fleet where it belongs,” Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, NAVSEA’s commander, said in the statement.

The shipbuilders will begin the process of evaluating all the work that must be accomplished to fully restore the Miami, and then write a repair schedule allowing for the most economical restoration possible, NAVSEA said.

The contract will also allow Electric Boat and HII to begin buying piping and cabling for the sub.

“We know that Miami is going to need a lot of certain items,” Rear Adm. David Duryea, the Navy’s deputy commander for undersea warfare, said in the statement. “Allowing the shipbuilder to start the ordering process now will ensure the material is on-hand when it's needed,” he added.

The Miami will remain at Portsmouth for the duration of the repairs. During the peak repair period, EB expects to have about 300 employees working in Kittery on the ship.

The Navy expects to award a full repair contract later in 2013.

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