http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2008/nov/ ... nsplanted/
USS San Francisco Takes to Waters With Its Transplanted Nose
By Ed Friedrich (Contact)
Monday, November 24, 2008
Jan. 8, 2005 — San Francisco hits seamount near Guam
Jan. 9, 2005 — San Francisco returns to Guam under its own power
Feb. 12, 2005 — Cmdr. Kevin Mooney is relieved of his command of San Francisco
March 22, 2005 — Six San Francisco crew members were punished with reductions in rate or letters of reprimand
Aug. 17, 2005 — After temporary repairs were made in Guam, San Francisco leaves for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Sept. 9, 2005 — San Francisco arrives in Bremerton
June 2006 — It is announced that the San Francisco's bow section will be replaced with that of the soon-to-be-retired Honolulu
October 2006 — Honolulu's last patrol ends at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Dec. 5, 2006 — San Francisco enters dry dock
Nov. 2, 2007 — Honolulu decommissioned and stricken from register
Oct. 10, 2008 — San Francisco leaves dry dock and returns to water
Spring 2009 — San Francisco scheduled to depart for its new homeport of San Diego
The USS San Francisco has returned to the water after a three-year, $134-million nose job.
The fast-attack submarine smashed full speed into an undersea mountain near Guam on Jan. 8, 2005, killing one sailor and injuring 97 of its 137 crew members.
Workers at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility removed the sub's 1 million-pound bow and replaced it with one from sister ship USS Honolulu.
"This was a very unique project and experience for many of the project team members and shipyard workers and is an effort which many can be proud in returning the vessel to the water as designed," PSNS spokeswoman Mary Anne Mascianica said in an e-mail response to submitted questions.
The USS San Francisco, commissioned in 1981, was the 24th Los Angeles-class submarine built. The Navy had already decided that the USS Honolulu, though four years newer, would be decommissioned and recycled at PSNS in late 2007 instead of undergoing a $170-million nuclear reactor refueling. The USS San Francisco had been refueled during an overhaul from 2000 to 2002.
Repairing the USS San Francisco instead of refueling the USS Honolulu was "the best return on investment in terms of cost, presence and service life," Mascianica said.
The USS San Francisco cost $900 million to build in the late 1970s, which would be about $2.8 billion in today's dollars. The Navy's newest sub, the Virginia-class USS New Hampshire, commissioned last month, had a $2.2 billion price tag.
The USS San Francisco, which moved out of dry dock on Oct. 10, will stick around until spring while completing final system certifications. Then it will head to its new base in San Diego. The Honolulu has been recycled and no longer exists.
The USS San Francisco arrived in Bremerton on Sept. 9, 2005, and entered dry dock on Dec. 5, 2006. The first-of-its-kind bow transplant involved cutting more than 1 million pounds off the front of the Honolulu, primarily its forward ballast tanks and the sonar sphere. A specially designed cradle and track system were used to push the massive structure inch by inch more than 300 feet in the dry dock until it was within a sixteenth of an inch of the San Francisco.
Internal systems, such as pipes and cables, were aligned and mated before the bow could be welded on.
The restoration took 285,000 man days, Mascianica said, and left the 6,000-ton submarine meeting all of its original design specifications.
The USS San Francisco was about 350 miles south of its base on Guam and cruising 525 feet below the surface when it struck the seamount. It surfaced and returned to Guam under its own power. There, it was repaired enough to make an unprecedented 5,600-mile surface trip to Bremerton.
An investigation into the accident found that the seamount didn't appear on the chart that the crew had been using. It found, however, that it did appear on other charts on the boat that should have been reviewed and the information transferred over, the Navy said.
The ship's commanding officer, Cmdr. Kevin Mooney, was relieved of his command and received a letter of reprimand. Six crew members were punished, reduced in rate or got letters of reprimand.