BAE Systems has secured a $145m contract from the US Navy to undertake maintenance and modernisation work of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94).

If all options are exercised, the sum of this contract could touch $161m.

As per the depot maintenance period (DMP) contract, the Norfolk shipyard of BAE Systems will dry-dock the vessel to carry out underwater hull preservation work, upgrade its Aegis combat system as well as the command-and-control equipment, and renovate the living spaces for the 325 crewmembers.

This work is expected to commence in July this year.

BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair vice president and general manager David M. Thomas Jr said: “The depot maintenance periods are necessarily complex and critical to maintain the combat effectiveness of DDGs.

“BAE Systems Norfolk looks forward to conducting the assigned DMP work that will enable the USS Nitze to move into its next phase of fleet readiness.”

Recently, the firm commenced DMP work aboard the USS Lassen (DDG 88) at its shipyard in Jacksonville, Florida. It is also carrying out similar work aboard the USS Mustin (DDG 89) at its shipyard in San Diego.

Commissioned in March 2005, USS Nitze is the 44th ship in the Arleigh Burke class and is named in honour of US Navy’s former secretary and chief US arms control advisor Paul Nitze (1907-2004).

In February, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin Skunk Works carried out a test to show expeditionary warfare and battle management capabilities for the US Marine Corps.