Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BAE Expanding San Diego Drydock Facilities

By Mark Edward Nero

BAE Systems said March 30 that it plans to significantly expand the dry-docking capabilities at its San Diego shipyard, thereby enhancing the ship repair, maintenance and modernization services it provides to the US Navy, other government agencies and commercial customers.

The investment is expected to include the purchase of a new dry dock and a range of infrastructure improvements at the yard at an estimated cost of $100 million.

The company made the announcement during a ribbon-cutting ceremony dedicating a new pier at the shipyard along the San Diego waterfront. Attendees included US Reps. Susan Davis, Duncan Hunter and Scott Peters.

“Our primary strategy and mission in San Diego is to support the US Navy and its rebalance to the Pacific,” said Erwin Bieber, president of BAE Systems’ Platforms & Services sector. “The new pier and dry dock will complement and expand the shipyard’s existing capacity in this homeport and provide greater capabilities to our customers.”

The new pier and dry dock would support current and future Navy surface ship repair, maintenance, and modernization, as well as accommodate cruisers, destroyers, amphibious assault ships, mine countermeasures ships and both variants of the Littoral Combat Ship, according to BAE.

The expanded facilities could also service other ships and vessels under contract, including those for Military Sealift Command, the US Coast Guard, and the US Maritime Administration.

The new Pier 4, planned at 415 feet long and 64 feet wide, is to replace a 52-year-old pier, and includes new services such as fresh water, electrical, sewage and storm water containment.

The new dry dock will measure 950-feet long and 205-feet wide, with a design lifting capacity of 55,000 tons, according to BAE. When operational in early 2017, it would be the company’s largest dry dock in the United States.

Environmental design features include LED lighting, electric cranes, air-cooled emergency generators, a zero discharge closed-loop salt water system, and storm water recovery systems.