WASHINGTON — BAE Systems’ U.S. subsidiary has won a nearly $108 million contract from the U.S. Navy to repair the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross — a process that will take more than 500 days, according to a company news release issued Wednesday.
Commissioned in 1997, Ross recently completed a seven-year deployment based out of Rota, Spain. The ship will head to BAE’s shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia, for the maintenance, which is set to be completed in April 2024.
BAE Systems will repair the ship’s main propulsion system and update the berthing and dining areas. It will also do maintenance on the hull, the ballast and fuel tanks, and the superstructure, which sits above deck.
The value of the deal could rise to $123.8 million if all of the options in the contract are exercised, according to BAE.
The company said that once the maintenance is complete, the ship will be able to operate for another 10 years.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office has raised concerns multiple times in the last few years about whether the Navy can keep up with its ships’ maintenance needs. A GAO report from August 2020 found that about 75% of planned maintenance periods were delayed for aircraft carriers and submarines in Navy shipyards over a five-year period.
The Navy does not have enough dry docks — human-made basins used for ship repairs — for even the routine maintenance of its ships, Rear Adm. Eric Ver Hage, the commander of the Navy’s Regional Maintenance Center, said in January. Ver Hage said the Navy is looking to the private sector to fill the gap.
With shipyards in Virginia, California and Florida, BAE Systems has seven dry docks, according to the company.
The U.K.-based contractor was the seventh-largest defense company in 2021, according to Defense News’ annual ranking. Last year, it took in nearly $25.8 billion in defense revenue.
Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.