BAE Systems has won a $19m 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.
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.