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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Repair cost for sub Hartford nearly $87M

The Navy will pay another $36.6 million to repair the fast attack submarine Hartford after a collision March 20, 2009, with the amphibious transport dock New Orleans. This will bring the total repair cost to $86.9 million.

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine Hartford pulls into Mina Salman pier in Bahrain after colliding with the amphibious transport dock New Orleans in March 2009

General Dynamics Electric Boat was awarded the contract April 1. It will cover the final fabrication and installation of the hull patch, bridge access trunk, port retractable bow plane and the sail. The work, which will be performed primarily in Groton, Conn., is scheduled to wrap up by November.

This is the fourth contract awarded for Hartford’s repair work. Though the contracts total $139.2 million, the company was able to do the work for less than estimated, according to Bob Hamilton, Electric Boat spokesman. The previous three contracts totaled $102.6 million, but most of those funds expired Oct. 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

The Los Angeles-class sub collided with New Orleans in the Strait of Hormuz. New Orleans, which was on its maiden deployment, suffered a 16-by-18-foot gash in its hull that ripped open a fuel tank and two ballast tanks and required $2.3 million in repairs.

Cmdr. Ryan Brookhart was relieved of command of Hartford on April 14, 2009, due to loss of confidence. A Judge Advocate General Manual investigation found an informal atmosphere, crew complacency, a “weak” command and inferior submariner skills led to the “avoidable” accident. Specifically, the navigator was listening to his iPod during a critical evolution, watchstanders were known to sleep on the job, and stereo speakers were rigged for music in the radio room.