Here's your chance to own Navy stealth ship
The Navy test craft Sea Shadow performs in the Sea and Air Parade in San Diego in 2005.
May 3rd, 2012
10:48 AM ET

Here's your chance to own Navy stealth ship

You've got about 24 hours to get your bids in on a piece of super-cool Cold War hardware - a stealth warship the government no longer wants.

The General Services Administration is taking bids on the U.S. Navy's Sea Shadow, built by Lockheed Martin in 1983 for the Navy to test radar-evading capabilities and other weapons systems. The ship has outlived its usefulness, and the Navy is trying to unload it to avoid maintenance costs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"It is not cost-effective for the Navy to maintain the ship in an inactive condition any longer, and the ship no longer serves any operational or research purpose," Navy spokesman Christopher Johnson told the Times. "Our only disposition option is dismantling and recycling."

Which means if you submit the highest bid, you won't be taking the 118-foot-long, 499-ton Sea Shadow for a three-hour tour with Gilligan and the Skipper.

"The ex-Sea Shadow shall be disposed of by completely dismantling and scrapping within the U.S.A. Dismantling is defined as reducing the property such as it has no value except for its basic material content," read the conditions on the GSA auction site.

That seems to have dampened the interest of evil madmen bent on world domination. (The Sea Shadow is said to be the inspiration for the villain's vessel in the 1997 James Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies.")

The GSA website reports only 10 bidders so far, with the top bid at $139,100. Bidding started at $10,000.

The winning bidder will have to pick up the prize from the Maritime Administration National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, California.

The Sea Shadow comes complete with a covered barge/floating dry dock, so once you bust it up you will have a keepsake to remind you of what could have been.

Bids are due by 6 p.m. ET Friday. Good luck.

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Filed under: California • Military • U.S. Navy
soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. cpc65

    They could sink it to make an artificial reef. It would become an underwater housing project for the ghetto fish.

    May 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Zoglet

      Dont be ridiculous, its made with stealth technology. The fish wont even know its their till they bash their heads against its hull!

      May 4, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Former Sailor

    There are a number of museums built around "retired" US Navy ships. Therre is the USS BATFISH (SS 310) in Muskogee, Oklahoma and the USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park in southern Alabama. Both museums bring tourists to see them and bring cash to those commumities. The SEA SHADOW should be given to an appropriate community. Sending the SEA SHADOW to the breakers is an indifferent destruction of a unique and historic ship. SEA SHADOW deserves to be treated better than my 22 year old Suburban got!

    On a different subject:sinking old ships to serve as "artificial reef" wastes many tons of highly refined metals. (Sinking the USS FORRESTAL would sink thousands of tons of highly refined steel.) I thought our country was so in debt that we could not afford to waste reusuable metal.

    May 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dandy

      Yeah, I agree.. We need to dismantle it and recover the scrap so it can be shipped to China so they can make more crap to sell in Walmart. :-/

      May 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason Glugla

      It has to be scrapped because it still has technology that our friends, like the Chinese could find useful. All of the F-14 Tomcats were ground up because parts could've been used in the F-14s that Iran still has. The Aircraft Carrier Enterprise will be decomissioned and scrapped after the final tour which it is currently on because ripping it apart from the outside is the safest and only cost effective way of getting at its 8 nuclear reactors.

      May 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      They should use the skeletons of environmentalists to form artificial reefs.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • n2it

      Good point Sailor. I would hope they'd do a better job of setting her up than they did the U.S.S. Alabama. Her bottom is rotting away quickly, not sure about the submarine "Drum" just astern of her but it can't be much better. Another option could be to sell her to a 3rd world country. We could pull a fast one on them and give it a free radar reflective paint job, lol. Nigeria just paid a small fortune for a small destroyer built by us in '68.

      May 4, 2012 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
    • milpitasguy

      Haven't you heard? Now they're thinking of mining asteroids for precious metals.

      May 4, 2012 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. GonzoinHouston

    The bids are so low because the bidders have to factor in the cost of dissasembly versus the value of the metal, and yes, they should scrap it. It was designed for radar-avoidance research, and as long as it is intact, what we learned could be learned by others less friendly. The only thing that's really important about it is the classified answer to one question: "How well did it work?"

    I wonder if I could build a hull that looked like that and mount it on an old VW chassis and drive it down the street?

    May 3, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Timesawastin

    my guess is .. even for scrap metal.. the gubbermint wasn't getting any bids in.. SO.. NEWS ORGANIZATIONS TO THE RESCUE... PUT THIS TRASH (LITERALLY) ON your page.. get the word out!!!!!

    May 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. smokinbluebear

    if the ship is sold "dismantled" then its Not a ship and theres No Need to this pointless Farce of a story.

    May 3, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Layne

    Can anyone explain why this ship was built? I never understood why a navy with submarines felt it needed a stealth ship. Any ideas?

    May 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Former Sailor

      It occurrs to me that submarines are either diesel electric, which means they are clumsy surface ships much of the time or nukes. Nukes are quite expensive and their crews require a great deal of very expensive training. The SEA SHADOW is a diesel electric (according to Wikipedia). SEA SHADOW's crew really doesn't need security clearances or the extensive training.

      The stealth quality would be a major protection for this ship. I've also read that SEA SHADOW was designed as a "proof of concept" vessel; that is, a research platform and not a combatant.

      May 3, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • J R Brown

      Maybe because submarines, at the time, were readily tracked if you had the technology and knowledge for doing so...?

      May 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dandy

      Read again ... Clues: Test ship.... stealth .... testing avoidance of radar....

      May 3, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seidan

      It was built to study ways of reducing the radar cross section (radar signature) of future surface vessels. If our surface ships are harder to find with radar and harder to lock onto with anti-ship missiles that is a good thing.

      May 4, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Fig1024

    I'm sure some Mexican drug dealers would be interested, and actually have enough money to buy

    May 3, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. guest

    i drop these everyday after work.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. dave

    I bet there are some Latin American drug runners who would love to get their hands on this.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dandy

      Perhaps they have several already... but you just can't see them.. ??

      May 3, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jerry the milk

    AS LONG AS IT TURN INTO HOUSEBOAT..... Houseboat. you know. Put bed, TV, etc. Cut Stealth ship windows bigger.

    May 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. William Ricard

    They ought to hand it over to the Sea Shepards

    May 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. BigRed

    Recycle, reuse, repurpose.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Someone

    Actually, I am not sure how much scrap this ship is going to yield. It depends on how much of the ship is made of composites, which do not recycle all that well.

    May 4, 2012 at 3:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. nokoolaidcowboy

    Drug lords are registering to bid as we type...

    May 4, 2012 at 5:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Gliney

    Why is this news? This thing has been for sale since around 2008

    May 4, 2012 at 6:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
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