JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ The estimated cost to repair the bomb-damaged USS Cole is nearly $250 million, about one-quarter of the ship's price tag, a government official said Wednesday.

The Navy guided-missile destroyer was bombed in a terrorist attack nine months ago. The explosion killed 17 U.S. sailors and blew a hole 40-by-40 foot hole in the hull.

Pat Dolan, spokeswoman for the Naval Sea Systems Command, said the $249.8 million estimate includes repairing structural damage, repairing weapons and retraining the crew.

The ship was equipped with the Aegis combat system, which can track 100 targets simultaneously and is capable of anti-air, anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare.

By mid-September, the Cole will be reloaded with equipment and placed in the water at the Northrop Grumman Ingalls Shipbuilding. It is expected to leave in the spring.

U.S. authorities continue to investigate the bombing.