The fire that broke out on the USS Bonhomme Richard on Sunday was still burning at the time of writing. The blaze has caused at least 20 casualties, and the fate of the ship is unclear, with Navy officials stating it was too soon to say if the vessel will be salvageable. But new firefighting technology might have stopped the fire before it ran out of control.
Fire is the biggest hazard for warships. Compartmentalized bulkheads make modern vessels unlikely to sink even if holed below the waterline. During WWII, only one U.S. carrier was sunk, but four were lost to fire. As with Bonhomme Richard, the ammunition and aviation fuel on board made them especially vulnerable to catastrophe.
Swedish company Unifire say their FlameRanger could make a difference. Claimed to be the most sophisticated robotic firefighting system in the world, FlameRanger comprises sensors linked to nozzles on robotic arms.