National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, announced it has received a contract valued at $5.1 million, with options up to $20.2 million, for the six-month extended dry-docking and maintenance availability of USS Antietam (CG-54), a Ticonderoga-class Aegis guided missile cruiser homeported in San Diego. The initial award provides funds to begin advance planning for the Antietam maintenance, repair and alteration work package. Actual work on the ship will begin in March 2002 and is to be completed by September 2002. Major work items include the drydocking, plus alterations to convert the ship to all-electric auxiliaries and to install the Navy's "Smart Ship" electronic control and automation systems. This is the second complex refurbishment of an Aegis guided missile cruiser performed by NASSCO and the third installation of the "Smart Ship" systems equipment. The company completed a $30-million extended maintenance, repair and alteration availability on USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) in June 2001 and has previously installed "Smart Ship" on USS Valley Forge (CG-50). NASSCO is teamed with Southwest Marine (SWM), its neighboring shipyard, on this contract. SWM will share in the production work on Antietam, focusing primarily on the machinery maintenance and habitability work packages. "This award once again demonstrates NASSCO's and private industry's capability to provide full-service lifecycle support for ships in San Diego," said Richard Vortmann, President of NASSCO. "We and our fellow companies have invested heavily in developing a comprehensive ship repair infrastructure and can now repair and upgrade all classes of Navy ships, including carriers and submarines, homeported in San Diego. This is a real benefit to the crews and their families."