By DAVID SHARP, Associated Press
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The Navy says it spent more than $71 million on cleanup, planning and initial repairs on the fire-damaged USS Miami before plans to return the submarine to service were scuttled.
The Navy intended to repair the submarine at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, before the discovery of additional cracks that drove up repair costs. The Navy announced last month that it was inactivating the submarine because of the higher repair estimates coupled with mandated budget cuts.
The Navy said the $71 million figure consisted mostly of damage assessment, planning, repair materials and some initial repair efforts, along with $7 million for cleanup.
Defense analyst Loren Thompson from the Lexington Institute said the wasted taxpayer dollars shows what happens when unpredictable budget pressures force the military services to change plans.
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