BAE Systems has won a $19 million contract from the U.S. Navy’s Southwest Regional Maintenance Center to refurbish and upgrade the ARCO (ARDM-5) floating drydock so it can service the Navy’s new Virginia-class nuclear-powered fast attack submarines. The company will perform drydocking and pierside work on the ARCO at both Naval Base Point Loma and BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair.
Work on the ARCO includes painting the drydock’s underwater hull, sides and tanks, reinforcing structural bulkheads, replacing and renewing switchboards, and upgrading the automated docking and centering system. All work is scheduled for completion in June 2008. The ARCO measures 492 feet long, 98 feet wide, and has a lifting capacity of 7,800 long tons.
“This new submarine class requires enhanced maintenance capabilities,” said Al Krekich, president, BAE Systems Ship
Repair. “When the upgrades are complete, the ARCO will be able to drydock Virginia-class vessels, and advances in automation will ensure the dockings can take place with fewer people.”
With improved stealthiness, surveillance and special warfare enhancements and an emphasis on littoral warfare operations, the Virginia-class (SSN 774) fast attack submarines can excel in a wide range of warfighting missions: including anti-submarine and surface ship warfare; special operations; strike; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; carrier and expeditionary strike group support; and mine warfare.