By Mark Edward Nero
On Dec. 8, BAE Systems received a new 950-foot-long, 55,000-long-ton floating dry dock at its San Diego shipyard. The dry dock, BAE says, is part of the company’s $100 million investment in the yard to service the anticipated increase of US Navy ships on the West Coast.
The new floating dry dock arrived at the company’s shipyard towed by the ocean-going and salvage tug POSH Terasea Eagle.
Over the next two months, the BAE Systems team says, it plans to complete final assembly, installation, testing, and certification of the dry dock, which is expected to be operational in early 2017. The first ship to be serviced in the dry dock will be the San Diego-homeported amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans.
“We have 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 in a statement. “With two large dry docks now 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.”
The new dry dock is 950 feet long, 205 feet wide and has a lift capacity of 55,000-long-ton ship weight, making it capable of accommodating amphibious assault ships, auxiliary ships, cruisers, destroyers, littoral combat ships, transport dock and dock landing ships, and select commercial vessels.
It uses all electric power and its environmental features include LED lighting throughout the structure; a non-toxic underwater hull and ballast tank coating; storm water recovery systems; closed-loop salt water fire protection and cooling systems; and air-cooled emergency backup generators.