BAE Systems in the U.S. has received a contract from the U.S. Navy to modernise Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Mitscher.

The value of the contract could reach $101.2 million if all options are exercised, say BAE.

“Under the docking selected restricted availability (DSRA) contract awarded, BAE Systems will dry-dock the ship, perform underwater hull preservation work, support the Navy’s efforts to upgrade the ship’s Aegis combat system and its command and control equipment, and refurbish the living spaces for the ship’s 285 crewmembers.”

The work is expected to begin in March 2022 and to be completed in April 2023.

“Our team looks forward to the preservation and upgrade work aboard USS Mitscher,” said Mike Bruneau, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair.

“With our subcontractor teammates and Navy personnel alongside, we will apply our experience with the DDG class to ensure this ship returns to the fleet mission-ready and fully capable to support our national security.”

BAE Systems’ Norfolk shipyard is performing similar work aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Stout.

According to their website:

“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 three full-service shipyards in California, Florida, and Virginia, and offers a highly skilled, experienced workforce and talented program managers, seven dry-docks and railways, and significant pier space and ship support services. The company’s Norfolk shipyard has over 1,100 employees and works with the Navy and several subcontractor companies to accomplish its ship sustainment work.”

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Crabfat
Crabfat
10 days ago

Looking on Google Earth at the BAE Systems Norfolk and trying to identify the several ships being worked on. But I can see no pennant numbers. As a non-matelot, can anyone tell me why this might be?

Monty
Monty
10 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

I see DDG-84 USS Bulkeley (identified as taken last summer) from across the river.

David Barry
David Barry
10 days ago

Given how big BAE are in the US, is there any influence building being undertaken with USN to curtail their purchase of Italian ships at 10 and proceed with T26 instead?

David Steeper
David Steeper
10 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

The USN has gone with Constelation class. They’ve gotten Congressional approval and there isn’t any discussion of switching to 26 class.

David Barry
David Barry
10 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

And i do not disagree except tor the fact itbis only for… 10!

Hence, I wonder, if BAE as well as UKAUCANZ defence attached might be promoting T26 for the follow on order for 40 ships?

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
10 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Constellation Class will total 20, there is no follow on order for 40 ships. Those 40 odd ships are the LCS, equally divided between the Independence class and Freedom Class, Constellation ships are the final 20 of the 64? ships in the LCS program I believe

David Steeper
David Steeper
10 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Getting approval for defence contracts in the US is a long drawn out process especially getting it through congress. Spreading the order through as many congressional districts as possible with back door deals to get other contracts for any that lose out. It’s known as pork barrel. If there isn’t even a suggestion of buying Type 26 from anyone in the USN it effectively means it’s a dead duck.

Last edited 10 days ago by David Steeper
DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
10 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

BAE (US) is the eighth largest defense contractor in the US and is Lilliputian compared to LM, Raytheon, GD, Northrop-Grumman, HI, etc. They don’t have that kind of influence, even if the US Navy had even the slightest desire for the T26, which it doesn’t.

David Steeper
David Steeper
10 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Spot on.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

That’s not completely true there was some military rumblings about 18 months ago talking up its abilities and potential and this was taken up by a Senator calling for its adoption. But clearly as it didn’t fulfil the ‘proven design’ brief it never had a chance of being adopted. As the Fremm design is going to be redesigned to suit US requirements so agree however can’t see that they would suddenly abandon that and in the years ahead start another re design job on a different design even if it’s potential is markedly better. Seems that the aim is ‘cheap’… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
10 days ago

Due to the running down of the Ticos the USN is now needing to refit and overhaul 25-30year old DDG51 vessels to keep the fleet something near to relevant. Some of the Ticos and AB’s I have worked on are in a really poor condition and need some serious work to fix. The usual USN refit has all the surveys and inspection reports done in the first 20% of the refit. After that it’s complete the work package and develop growth work time that adds cost and time to the refit. Don’t be supprised if it exceeds the planned timeline… Read more »

RobW
RobW
10 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

How do you think they compare to RN vessels of a similar age? Some of the T23s seem to have needed far more structural work on LIFEX than others. Lancaster needed a fair bit I believe.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
10 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Some of the Ticos are in a really bad state way worse than any T23. Some of the flight 1ABs are also in a bad way. Like the T23 they will get system upgrades and new steel work.

Putting in new steel inserts isn’t that difficult. The work in way to clear out cables and equipment where you are going to weld is the biggest pain. The actual insert, grinding, NDT and fairness checks are fairly straight forward… Putting everything back and making sure everything still works is usually the issue.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

That’s deeply concerning, these ships have have taken on something of a cult status in the US (indeed well beyond) mindset. Great ships in the past still very capable but in ten years how will they shape up, and how difficult to keep the older ones at sea? The carriers are definitely constraining budgets for other ships even with an economy like the US. Like us post war are they willing to face up to hard decisions in the future or like us make bad decisions or ignore the realities altogether by that desire to want to be or appear… Read more »

RobW
RobW
9 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

With the Zumwalt and LCS debacles there must be a nervousness about designing and building a whole new class to replace the ABs. It seems that is what they are doing though, with the current crop of Flight III ABs considered to be the last. They will be constructed until 2031 as things stand. I assume that is when the replacement will begin construction. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go for larger designs with relatively simple fit outs to begin with. They desperately need to avoid repeating the mistakes of over complication or they certainly will end up with… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Weren’t the worst ones Iron Duke (and one other) which having been laid up since 2018 had deteriorated substantially. Going through her LIFEX now I think.

RobW
RobW
9 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Monmouth was laid up and now decommissioned. The other one you mention could be Sutherland or St Albans, both of which are currently undergoing LIFEX. I doubt Iron Duke is receiving as much attention as the others given her OSD is just 3 years away.

It is still pretty impressive that a whole class of ship designed for a service life of 18 years will go on into their 30s. By all accounts they are remarkably well maintained.