By Mark Edward Nero
BAE Systems has received a $36.7 million contract from the US Navy for the repair and maintenance of the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans, which will be the first ship to be repaired in the company’s new drydock in San Diego.
The contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to $51.5 million.
BAE says it will begin work on the 684-foot-long ship in January 2017. Work to be performed includes structural and tank repairs, propulsion system repairs, and ventilation and auxiliary systems repairs, as well as preservation of the crew habitability systems and spaces.
The labor onboard the ship is expected to be completed in March 2018.
BAE Systems has purchased a 55,000-lifting-ton, 950-foot-long drydock for the San Diego shipyard, which will be operational in early 2017. The company already has a 26,000 lifting-ton drydock at the site. In addition to another drydock in the port, the combination of three drydocks will support the growth of ships in the San Diego port and help the Navy to maintain its operational requirements, while keeping ships in their homeport for extensive repairs.
The surface ship fleet in San Diego, excluding aircraft carriers, is expected to grow from the current 59 ships to 70 by 2020, as the Navy increases its focus on Asia-Pacific operations. BAE has said its $100 million investment in a new drydock and other capabilities will support the increased size of the fleet.
“We made the strategic investment to meet the ship repair needs of the Navy,” BAE Systems Ship Repair Vice President and General Manager Joe Campbell said. “Soon, with two large drydocks in our shipyard, we’ll enhance the San Diego industrial base’s ability to repair warships in their homeport, providing the key maintenance and modernization work needed for the ships’ continued service to our nation and the stability for the ships’ crews.”