This has been discussed for some time. But it’s going to happen this spring. Strategy Page tipped me off to the final decision, and a quick google found this story.
The USS AMERICA is going to be sunk in an series of tests in the Atlantic ocean to determine the amount of damage that our supercarriers can sustain. No warship this large has ever sunk before.
Since its decommissioning in 1996, the America has been moored with dozens of other inactive warships at a Navy yard in Philadelphia. The Navy’s plan is to tow it to sea on April 11 – possibly stopping at Norfolk, Va. – before heading to the deep ocean, 300 miles off the Atlantic coast, for the tests, Dolan said.
There, in experiments that will last from four to six weeks, the Navy will batter the America with explosives, both underwater and above the surface, watching from afar and through monitoring devices placed on the vessel.
These explosions would presumably simulate attacks by torpedoes, cruise missiles and perhaps a small boat suicide attack like the one that damaged the destroyer USS Cole in Yemen in 2000.
At the end, explosive scuttling charges placed to flood the ship will be detonated, and the America will begin its descent to the sea floor, more than 6,000 feet below.
The AMERICA was chosen in part because she never underwent the Service Life Extension Program upgrades that some of her earlier sisters and cousins did. that means that though she’s younger than they are, she’s actually more out-dated.
The end of proud warships is never a happy thing. But this sort of thing has been going on for about as long as ships have been used for war, and it’s probably more noble an end than the cutting torch.
I hope that the CVX-1 is named AMERICA. That would be a fitting tribute to the fine ship which will give her life to make the CVX better. And it’s a great name for a new generation of ships that have become a hallmark of American military capability.
Maybe Murdoc Online should start a campaign for that. Thoughts? Comment or email me.
(Photo from midwaysailor.com)