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Who Wants to Buy a Stealth Ship?

by John Reed on April 27, 2012

Who wants to buy the U.S. Navy’s original stealth ship? Yup, the Lockheed Martin-built Sea Shadow is being auctioned off from its home in the Suisun Bay ghost fleet in California. You’d better hurry up and bid since the price is already north of $100,000 (still  bargain, you get the stealthy ship and the historic floating dry dock she’s moored inside.) Here are the details. Happy Friday!

HE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE BEING SOLD AS ONE LOT AND ARE NOT TO BE SEPARATED UNTIL AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GOVERNMENT FACILITY. THE EX-SEA SHADOW (IX-529), YEAR BUILT: 1983, BUILDER: LOCKHEED MARTIN, OVERALL LENGTH: 164 FEET, WATERLINE LENGTH: 118 FEET, EXTREME BEAM 68 FEET, WATERLINE BEAM: 58 FEET, MAXIMUM NAVIGATIONAL DRAFT: 15 FEET, DRAFT LIMIT: 15 FEET, LIGHT DISPLACEMENT: 499 TONS, HULL MATERIAL: STEEL HULL AND SUPERSTRUCTURE, DIESEL ELECTRIC PROPULSION SYSTEM, NUMBER OF PROPELLERS: TWO. (THE EX-SEA SHADOW SHALL BE DISPOSED OF BY COMPLETELY DISMANTLING AND SCRAPPING WITHIN THE U.S.A. DISMANTILING IS DEFINED AS REDUCING THE PROPERTY SUCH AS IT HAS NO VALUE EXCEPT FOR ITS BASIC MATERIAL CONTENT.) THE EX-HUGHES MINING BARGE (HMB-1), COVERED SEMI-SUBMERSIBLE DECK CARGO BARGE/FLOATING DRY-DOCK (WITH DOCKED EX-SEA SHADOW (IX-529) ON BOARD.) HMB-1 — LIGHT DISPLACEMENT: 4,585 TONS, LENGTH OVER ALL): 324 FEET, BREATH: 106.8 FEET, DEPTH: 18.8 FEET, HEIGHT OF WING WALLS ABOVE MAIN DECK: 62 FEET, LENGTH INSIDE WING WALLS: 276 FEET, WIDTH INSIDE WING WALLS: 76.6 FEET, YEAR BUILT: 1972, DRAFT: FORWARD: 8 FEET, AFT: 9 FEET, AIR DRAFT: 97.7 FEET, BUILDER: NATIONAL STEEL SHIP BUILDING COMPANY, SAN DIEGO, CA., CONSTRUCTION: WELDED STEEL, SPOON BOW AND FLAT BOTTOM WITH 18 INCH DEAD RISE, AND RADIUS BILGE PLATING. THESE ITEMS ARE BEING SOLD AS ONE LOT AND WILL NOT BE SEPERATED. IN ORDER TO BID ON THIS LOT, BIDDERS WILL NEED TO REQUEST A BID BUTTON BY PROVIDING A BID DEPOSIT IN THE AMOUNT OF $10,000, AND A SIGNED COPY OF THE ATTACHED STATEMENT OF INTENT (COMPLETELY FILLED OUT). BIDDERS MUST AGREE TO ALL OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS ON THE STATEMENT OF INTENT. IF ANY TERM OR CONDITIONS IS NOT AGREED TO OR IF NO BID DEPOSIT IS PROVIDED, BIDDERS WILL BE CONSIDERED NON-COMPLIANT AND NO BID BUTTON WILL BE ASSIGNED.

Click here to bid!

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{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

FormerDirtDart April 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Ummm..you would be buying the dry dock, and basically the materials of the Sea Shadow.
The Sea Shadow must be dismantled "(THE EX-SEA SHADOW SHALL BE DISPOSED OF BY COMPLETELY DISMANTLING AND SCRAPPING WITHIN THE U.S.A. DISMANTILING IS DEFINED AS REDUCING THE PROPERTY SUCH AS IT HAS NO VALUE EXCEPT FOR ITS BASIC MATERIAL CONTENT.)"

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Musson April 30, 2012 at 11:32 am

Will they accept bids in Chinese YUAN?

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passingby May 2, 2012 at 12:08 am

keep the Yuan and use the dollar … use it as fast as you reasonably can (on tangible assets). (Why?)

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passingby April 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm

it's worth less than a heap of scrap metal after cost and headaches.

better spend the money on a nice pretty sail boat. At least you and your family (or girlfriends if you're single) get to actually enjoy it.

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Kooch April 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm

China is buying it. They are turning it into a casino.

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passingby April 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm

China already has the largest and most profitable casinos on land and in the sea. They have been a source of social headaches for the CCP.

China could use more scrap metal though.

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Kooch April 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I was talking about the carrier they bought. They said it was going to be a casino

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Hale April 28, 2012 at 10:22 am

Nope, I think that went bust.

Currently, one is a hotel (The Kiev) )while the other is the centerpiece of a military-theme-park hilariously called, Minsk-World.

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majr0d April 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm

What a shame! What you are actually buying is scrap metal after the military renders it nonusable.

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FormerDirtDart April 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm

By the wording, it seems to me, the buyer will be responsible for dismantling (at their expense)

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Matt Holzmann April 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm

depending on how much metal there is inside and what metals it is constructed of a lot of the worth may be difficult to extract.

Can't I buy it like John Wayne bought Wild Goose? You could convert it for stealthy high speed dinner cruises out of Fisherman's Wharf. Put in windows and a dance floor and get some tribe to buy it and you could make it a casino as well.

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Mitch S. April 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

What could be secret on a 29yr old ship that it can't be removed so it doesn't have to be scrapped?
The shape is known. China and Russia already have samples of newer stealth coatings (besides only a small piece of scrap would be needed, so even dismantling it would unlikely secure all that material).

I bet billionaires such as Larry Ellison and Paul Allen would bid big bucks just for the bragging rights to having such a unique yacht.
I wonder if the DOD wants it scrapped 'cause they'd be embarrassed to see it used as someones toy. To which I say "Screw that we need the bucks!"

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Nadnerbus April 28, 2012 at 12:08 am

I tend to agree. If its got super secret gear or materials, remove them and sell the hull to the highest bider intact. Get some return on your original investment. The hull form doesn't seem particularly radical anymore with the likes of the Zumwalts on the building ways.

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blight_ April 27, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Amusing, the HMB-1 was the system paired with the Glomar Explorer as part of Project Jennifer…

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FormerDirtDart April 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Project Azorian, Jennifer was a security classification of the project

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blight_ April 28, 2012 at 10:31 am

Whoops. Azorian then.

Maybe we should focus on the barge. Let's go manganese nodule mining, hah! (though that might actually require Glomar Explorer instead)

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moose April 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Glomar got converted into a (real) well-drilling ship and is now Transocean's "GSF Explorer." Which wasn't all that bad when Transocean was still an American company, but since they now claim to be "Swiss" after fleeing the US, it's now somewhat of a black mark that Explorer is in their grubby hands. Plus, Transocean was operating Deepwater Horizon when it blew.

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blight_ April 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Most "companies" belong to whichever nation gives them the best deal. Just like ships are registered in the sketchiest countries (Greece, Panama, Liberia, Philippines, etc) as it suits the owners.

Lance April 27, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Buy it for the next Jame Bond movie??? LOL

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stephen russell April 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm

2 bad cant use Sea Shadow for a Museum shop Or these:
Yacht
Cruise boat, (add windows).
Tour Boat?
Dive Boat ( add drop down platform).
Darn Govt Regs.

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Kool Guy April 27, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Is Lockheed Martin seriously out of money? or they just out of their mind? Selling it for 100k USD, for sure China can afford that crap easily and just buy it for fun and see if they can get tech boost out of that.

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dee April 30, 2012 at 3:06 am

It was built by Lockheed and is owned by the US Govt. Please read, comprehend, and THEN post. We'll collectively be smarter if you'd think for yourself.

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Riceball April 30, 2012 at 11:17 am

It's not being sold for 100K, it's being put up for bid so the final selling price is TBD.

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Mitch S. April 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm

It (well a movie imitation of it) was already used in a Bond movie back in the 90's (I recall Pierce Brosnan was Bond and Jonathan Pryce was the bad guy).

The whole Glomar Explorer thing was so Bond movie like. Only question is whether the Bond producers were more influenced by the Glomar Explorer or more likely (given the CIA op was only known to the public years after the classic Bond movies were made) was the CIA influenced by the Bond movies?!

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Pat April 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm

What's so stealthy about this…

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tiger April 28, 2012 at 6:54 am

A lot. Electric drives, black for night ops, invisable to radar, little wake.

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asdf April 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm

black color is actually not good for camouflage at night

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blight_ May 1, 2012 at 1:08 am

Isn't actually some sort of dark gray that is best?

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Big-Rick April 27, 2012 at 11:27 pm

if there was no requirement to scrap and say there was a requirement to keep it US flagged i.e. no foreign buyers, then it would be priceless, the Feds could get $1M easily for it.

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tiger April 28, 2012 at 6:54 am

We paid $195 miliion to build it.

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Nicky April 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm

How much is it in today's dollars

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FormerDirtDart April 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm

They've been trying to get rid of it for six years, no one wants it. That's why they are selling it off as scrap

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jake April 27, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Y r they seeking that for?

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jake April 27, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Selling

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Roland April 28, 2012 at 3:38 am

Sell it to the Philippines. They are currently looking for cheap and second hand navy ships and subs for their territorial defense.

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passingby April 28, 2012 at 6:24 am

since all the electronics and weapon / propulsion system on the boat have to be taken out first, it will have to be towed back to the Philippines. Do you want their navy to use it as a straw man to scare the Chinese? or actually put some machine guns on it, and staff it with a hundred sailors skilled at using oars or long poles??

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Roland April 28, 2012 at 8:34 am

Place some RIM-67 SM-2 standard missile, BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile, RUM-139 ASROC anti submarine rocket,rolling anti ship missile launchers, CIWS , MTHEL on it with all the network electronics, modern radars, and it will be as good as the Burke class battleship.

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blight_ April 28, 2012 at 10:30 am

I believe the original intent of sea shadow was to be perimeter air defense of CBG's. However, I don't know if sea shadow even mounted launch hardware in the first place?

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Thomas L. Nielsen April 30, 2012 at 3:47 am

Please note that the Arleigh Burke class are destroyers, not battleships. Although the Burke class are larger than most other vessels classified as destroyers, they still have a way to go to reach battleship size.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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blight_ April 30, 2012 at 8:04 am

One of the tragic flaws of peacenik media is calling everything a battleship, an assault weapon, a bomber…

tiger April 28, 2012 at 6:55 am

It's not armed.

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Jon April 28, 2012 at 4:54 am

Here is a better bid link, the one you guys give is broken. http://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/aucdsclnk?sl=3

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passingby April 28, 2012 at 6:31 am

I bid 1 Million, zero down, zero interest for 1 million years. seller pays shipping and handling.

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Dfens April 28, 2012 at 9:07 am

We pay out the ass for the small signature reduction the Navy gets in all of their latest ships, and the one ship they have that actually is stealthy they can't wait to sell for scrap. Do you need to have a brain-ectomy to be in charge of the Navy or is that just a bonus qualification?

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Daniel April 29, 2012 at 10:03 am

You are absolutely clueless on budgeting with the DoD and USN. Go do some research before you post again.

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Dfens April 30, 2012 at 7:55 am

Clearly already had the brain-ectomy and is headed straight to the top.

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Hotel55 April 28, 2012 at 9:52 am

Give it to the SEALs! They'll figure out some way to use it, like for pirate fighting! It would make a great sniper platform you could pull up pretty close to targets / installations…

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blight_ April 28, 2012 at 10:29 am

Pirates have radar…?

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Hotel55 April 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm

No, but it would be damn hard to see at night….

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blight_ April 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I imagine we have better night attack methods than using a low-RCS Sea Shadow platform…

However, I'm surprised we've not opted to reuse the hull shape as a VLS carrier. Launch UAVs out at sea, use them to spot for some Sea Shadows carrying Standards or TLAM.

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Bob April 30, 2012 at 8:22 am

Don't we usually give leftovers to the Marines?

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JE McKellar April 28, 2012 at 10:22 am

Could the ship be used for smuggling? I know it's easier to smuggle stuff in the standard shipping containers, but since there's a handful of drug subs out there, there must be some need for special-purpose smuggling boats. I imagine the best use would be to move stuff across empty ocean, to a point behind the interdiction lines where small boats could be used to bring the shipment ashore.

Piracy might be an option, too. Station the dock on some private island athwart a shipping channel, send the Sea Shadow out at night with some small boats.

Just have to reassemble the ship after you've "scrapped" it.

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guess April 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I like how you think

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Woody April 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Selling it for scrap….hmmm, who the hell would pay that if you couldnt use as a boat?…..scrap isnt worth the trouble…What a stupid idea, why then dosnt Lockheed just scrp it then and just put the money in their petty cash account?….maybe I'm not up enough on such things but it all sounds stupid…and a real waste of time….and money…

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blight_ April 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Ben and Kelly are dead, so they aren't around to wring their hands and reinforce Kelly's Unwritten Rule about not doing business with the Navy.

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DGR April 30, 2012 at 10:08 am

In the Navy and the Air Force when a new generation of ships/airplanes come out, the old ones are scrapped/sold to friendly countries who can use it. Its very expensive to mantain assets you have no plan to use in the near future. I forget how long ago, but there is an article floating around somewhere about the entire spare Navy that is just waiting to be scrapped. I dont remember the numbers or anything, but there are a lot of ships waiting to be cut up and melted down. Just like the Bone yard of the Air Force, just a airforce base with hundreds/thousands of planes waiting to be scrapped.

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Sam May 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Look at a Google Earth or Map image of Suison Bay, CA. You will see many tons of ex-Navy ships nested up there. Pearl Harbor West Loch, same thing. Both facilities home to inactive ships awaiting scrapping or other dispositions.

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Alex April 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm

If we get 100,000 people to donate 1$ we could buy it “scrap” is then hire welders to rebuild it to the same specs, and then we could use it for frivolous things like a fishing boat, personal boat, tourist boat, a casino like everyone above me suggested, or a museum would be pretty cool. How much gas does it take though, and would we have to talk to bp to fill it up :o maybe that’s why the oil spill happened, someone didn’t wait 2-4 seconds after refueling before they took the nozzle out. Lol

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Alex April 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm

If we get 100,000 people to donate 1$ we could buy it “scrap” is then hire welders to rebuild it to the same specs, and then we could use it for frivolous things. How much gas does it take though, and would we have to talk to bp to fill it up :o maybe that’s why the oil spill happened, someone didn’t wait 2-4 seconds after refueling before they took the nozzle out. Lol

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blight_ April 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Eleven people died on the Deepwater Horizon, either in the explosion/fireball or in the water.

Lol to you.

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Ramon Cuadras April 29, 2012 at 1:00 am

I see it in the distance from the Benicia-Martinez Bridge on my way home from work every day. I think at one point it was up for donation. I don’t know why the Coast Guard couldn’t use it to track down those subs smuggling drugs from colonial.

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blight_ April 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Drug dealers don't have radar. The money would be better spent on more cutters that don't have problems from the manufacturer. Or patrol aircraft.

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Dfens April 30, 2012 at 10:55 am

Yeah, drug dealers can't afford an $8,000 digital radar. Oh no, that's way beyond their resources. http://www.boatersworld.com/product/MP63521593.ht

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blight_ April 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm

7k per boat when you can build narco subs and find Colombians to run them for less…?

And when turning a marine radar on turns your boat into a homing beacon…?

Until the narcos start using marine radars and working in packs with some empty boats using radar to find and fix the coast guard to assist in running in boats on silent running…

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Dfens April 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm

They are buying submarines for $7000? Yeah, like hell they are. You can't even buy a cigarette boat for $7000. The subs go for several hundred thousand dollars to $1 million. Every damn boat more than 20 miles off shore in the Caribbean has a radar. What's the Coast Guard going to do, check every single one of them because they might be smuggling drugs? Give me a break.

4FingerOfBourbon April 29, 2012 at 9:36 am

I would make a kick ass crab fishing boat out of it..

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Roland April 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I believe tech like this should not go to waste. We spent billions on it so use it. The problem is we keep on building mothballing something without having an idea how many we need, it's capability, reliability and what we were going to use it for in 20 years and against future enemy with the same tech. We need good QC and micro managers with excellent experience and background.

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blight_ April 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm

The Sea Shadow never had a future as an armed vessel. It was only ever meant to test a particular hullform, though Ben Rich's book suggests it was intended to be first of a series of picket stealth vessels, possibly designed for air defense. But that's conjecture. The catamaran/SWATH hull paved the way for a few ships like it today.

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tiger April 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I could say the same about the PHM hydrofoils. Today, just one a back water river in Missouri. http://www.hnsa.org/ships/aries.htm

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Kski April 29, 2012 at 11:03 pm

WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY SMOKING!!!!!!!!!! Hey lets put a then TOP SECRET ship up for sale. Its one thing if you need money, BUT IM WILLING TO BET THE FIRST BIDDER ORIGINATED FROM THE PRC! There out for our tech people, WE CAN NOT SELL IT TO THEM, WE MIGHT ASWELL SAY WE SHALL BOW DOWN TO YOU AS OUR OVERLORDS. We must take it off the market immediatly and dispose of it!!!!!!

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blight_ April 29, 2012 at 11:21 pm

It was probably made with low RCS materials the PRC has access to already. The design is well known, and it'll likely be scrapped anyways. That said, scrapping may involve shredding the ship and not a disassembly which can be reversed.

Just send the boat to Alang and have the Indians disassemble and sell the scrap.

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Guy in China April 30, 2012 at 5:35 am

Lol, I love your sense on humor.

I can guarantee the technology over here is far beyond what you guys have. We don't need to steel your tech. (although it would be great if you could pay us the trillion dollars you owe us. http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-char… )

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Roland April 30, 2012 at 7:19 am

Those are treasury bill. You need your country (China) to sell it back the US treasury bill back to us (USA) to profit from it. The numbers changes depending on the economy.

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blight_ April 30, 2012 at 8:03 am

You need the US to be around long enough when those treasuries mature to give you principal+interest.

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longshadow April 30, 2012 at 9:03 am

it seems like it would be easy for the buyer to put a team of engineers on it, map out every joint and riviet, and then scrap it per the agreement. Then they could build a new one to spec and throw in a couple of modern day comforts.

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Jaz April 30, 2012 at 11:49 am

Here's the newest ship for in the Sea Shepard's fleet on Whale Wars… wouldn't even have to change the name…

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P.J. Busche April 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I remember in '72 when the Navy first envisioned this war ship. And now 40 years later it is stillborne.

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blight_ May 1, 2012 at 1:07 am

It's just a test-bed.

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Lance Winslow April 30, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Now that would make a bitchen private yacht.

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jimfromcanada May 1, 2012 at 6:12 am

There is always some information to be gleaned from old experimental platforms. That means it needs to be scrapped to keep it out of the hands of other countries.

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windsailor May 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I don't read of a time frame that the dismantling has to be done by, it could be used and them at some time

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Pkade May 2, 2012 at 10:11 am

Narco importers would love to get their hands on this boat.

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blight_ May 2, 2012 at 10:45 am

Or try their hand at building fast catamarans, using pictures of sea shadow and testing it against OTS radar sets.

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adill May 3, 2012 at 3:45 am

forget about the stealth boat, cut it down to scrap. But I would love the Huge floating drydock HMB1. Now that's a keeper.

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Roland May 5, 2012 at 9:20 am

Now this is one the things I am sad to see when it go to the wrong hands.

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Roland May 5, 2012 at 10:38 pm

What if the bidders are Al-quida, Taliban, Somali pirates, Haqqini,Hamas,Drug traffikers, Iran, China or Russia? Are you still gonna sell? I hate to see this fall on the wrong hands.

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Micki October 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm
Justin April 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm

My first thought whenever I see this.

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FormerDirtDart May 1, 2012 at 12:13 am

I wouldn't blame the media. Roland is just another one of those "NationStates" military expert idiots.

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blight_ May 5, 2012 at 9:54 am

Someone always says that, but there are lots of museum ships which aren't getting enough business.

Visit a museum ship, or the navy will just turn them all into reefs.

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