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BAE Systems awarded USD294 million to modernise amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge

USS Kearsarge will be going through a 20-month modernisation. (US Navy)

The US Navy (USN) awarded BAE Systems a USD294.7 million contract to dry-dock the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) for more than 20 months to do maintenance and modernisation work on the ship, BAE Systems confirmed on 12 December.

The contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to USD340.3 million.

Under the contract, the Kearsarge maintenance availability will begin in April 2023, with the amphibious assault ship going into dry-dock in June for nearly a year at BAE Systems' shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia. Kearsarge and its amphibious ready group (ARG) returned to Norfolk in October after completing a seven-month deployment in the Sixth Fleet area of operations.

The shipyard will perform extensive hull, tank, and mechanical work; rehabilitate all crew and embarked marine living compartments onboard; and inspect the ship's boilers, the company said.

BAE Systems is expected to complete work aboard the 29-year-old ship in January 2025.

The extended sustainment period onboard Kearsarge will support job ability across the shipyard and supply base, said Mike Bruneau, vice-president and general manager of BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair. To prepare for dry-docking the Kearsarge , BAE Systems has been hiring employees and temporary workers.

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