KITTERY, Maine — The long process to restore the USS Miami for at least another decade of service is expected to begin at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in September, according to a release by Naval Sea Systems Command.
The submarine sustained $450 million in damages in a May fire. The Navy’s revised cost estimate — which was previously around $400 million —to repair the Los Angeles class attack submarine includes a “10 percent variability due to the unique nature of the repair and the cost impacts of shifting the planned maintenance availabilities of other ships and submarines,” according to the release.
The damage to the Miami, which has been in dry dock in the shipyard since March, was contained to forward compartments, away from the nuclear reactor, which was shut down during repairs.
“The Navy expects to award an advanced planning contract in September to support engineering efforts to guide the accomplishment of repairs and procure repair material, followed by the repair contract in late spring 2013,” according to the release.
The repairs, which should be conducted by the workforce at the shipyard and businesses in New Hampshire and Maine, are scheduled to be completed April 30, 2015, allowing the Miami to serve another five full-length deployments, according to the release.
“Since June, the Navy has continued its engineered overhaul work in areas unaffected by the May 23 fire; cleaning and ripping out areas affected by fire and water damage; completing the technical assessment of the damage; developing a strategy for completing repair; and refining the cost estimate,” according to the release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee said the government continues to prepare for its case against Casey James Fury, 24, of Portsmouth, N.H., who was granted an extension in court Aug. 14 to allow arson experts more time to review the evidence.
McElwee said the decision does not mean Fury’s case won’t go before a grand jury or won’t see another possible request for extension. She added there is “a long list of ways the clock can be stopped under the Speedy Trial Act.”
“It just continues it,” McElwee said. “It puts it on pause.”
Fury, who worked as a civilian painter at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for the past two years, was charged with two counts of arson after he confessed to setting a four-alarm fire aboard the Miami, a second fire in the dry dock June 12, and pulled a fire alarm June 19.
McElwee said there are currently no hearings scheduled in the case, which is being heard in U.S. District Court in Portland, Maine. She referred to the recent order which excluded the period between Aug. 13 and Sept. 26 from the calculations to schedule indictments and trials under the Speedy Trial Act.
“He has the right to go forward at any time,” McElwee said.
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John Quinn may be reached at email@example.com.