Conflict & Justice

US Navy to auction off $50M ‘invisible’ ship for scrap


US Navy sailors await the start of their re-enlistment ceremony in Los Angeles on July 28, 2011.



The US Navy is planning on auctioning off a $50 million “invisible” ship built during the Cold War era for scrap, the Associated Press reported. The top bid placed on the General Services Administration’s auction site as of April 27: $100,420, according to Mashable.

The Sea Shadow, secretly built by Lockheed Martin in 1985, was designed to test stealth technology on the seas, according to the AP.

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The 164-foot, ‘A’-shaped ship is coated with radar-absorbent materials, the Sacramento Bee reported.

According to the Sacramento Bee:

It was difficult to see at a distance even in daytime because of its low profile. At night, its flat-black paint made a visual sighting nearly impossible, and its shape and surface coating made it, indeed, invisible to radar.

The Sea Shadow was taken out of the Navy fleet in 2006. The Navy has been unable to get a museum to take the ship, hence the auction, which is set to close Friday, according to the Sacramento Bee.

"While several letters of interest were received … our only disposition option is dismantling and recycling," Navy spokesman Christopher Johnson told the Sacramento Bee.

If a buyer does acquire the ship, they must agree to scrap the ship within six months of the auction, in the United States and under full-time surveillance by the US government, the Sacramento Bee reported.

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