BAE Systems has received a $197.4 million contract from the U.S. Navy to drydock and perform maintenance and modernization work aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). Under the new contract, BAE Systems’ Norfolk shipyard will begin working aboard the 843-foot-long USS Wasp in February 2021, performing hull, tank and mechanical work. The contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to $237.7 million. This is the second time in four years that the company has performed significant work onboard the Wasp to sustain its warfighting capability.
During the company’s last maintenance availability aboard the Wasp, from December 2016 to May 2017, BAE Systems added modifications to support Joint Strike Fighter operations onboard. To prepare for drydocking the Wasp, BAE Systems sent its largest floating drydock in Norfolk to a Baltimore, Maryland, shipyard for five months of lifecycle maintenance. The drydock, called “Titan,” returned to Norfolk earlier this month. The lifecycle maintenance work performed on Titan drydock will enable the yard to service the largest Navy ships in the port of Norfolk for another 20 to 25 years. Titan is capable of lifting up to 52,500 long tons. The USS Wasp displaces about 40,500 long tons.
USS Wasp (LHD-1) is a United States Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship, and the lead ship of her class. She is the tenth USN vessel to bear the name since 1775, with the last two ships named Wasp being aircraft carriers. Wasp and her sister ships are the first specifically designed to accommodate new Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) for fast troop movement over the beach, and Harrier II (AV-8B) Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (V/STOL) jets which provide close air support for the assault force. She can also accommodate the full range of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, the tiltrotor MV-22 Osprey, the F-35B Lightning II multi-role fighter, conventional landing craft, and amphibious vehicles.
BAE Systems is very familiar with USS Wasp, performing substantial upgrade work onboard before its forward deployment to Japan three years ago. BAE Systems is a leading provider of ship repair, maintenance, modernization, conversion, and overhaul services for the Navy, other government agencies, and select commercial customers. The company operates four full-service shipyards in California, Florida, Hawaii, and Virginia, and offers a highly skilled, experienced workforce, seven dry-docks/railways, and significant pier space and ship support services. The company’s Norfolk shipyard has approximately 1,250 employees and works with the Navy and several subcontractor companies to accomplish its sustainment work.