The US Navy has awarded a $197.4m contract to BAE Systems to perform a long sustainment period on its amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1).

This contract marks the second time in the past four years that the company carried out work on the vessel.

Under the contract, the company will put the ship through the drydock for maintenance and modernisation work.

The Norfolk shipyard of BAE Systems will commence the work in February next year on the 843ft-long USS Wasp. Work will include hull, tank and mechanical work.

Additionally, the contract includes additional options, which will bring up the contract values to $237.7m, when exercised.

BAE Systems carried out the last maintenance availability from December 2016 to May 2017, when it added modifications to aid the Joint Strike Fighter operations onboard.

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In preparations for the drydocking, the company deployed the largest floating drydock to a Baltimore, Maryland, for five months of lifecycle maintenance.

BAE Systems Ship Repair deputy general manager and Norfolk Ship Repair general manager of Norfolk Ship Repair Mark Whitney said: “BAE Systems is very familiar with USS Wasp, performing substantial upgrade work onboard before its forward deployment to Japan three years ago.

“Our team of skilled tradespeople and subcontractors look forward to executing another long sustainment period on Wasp, to ensure the ship retains its sharp warfighting capability.”

In April last year, USS Wasp (LHD 1) along with the US Marines Corps’ F-35B Lightning II aircraft took part in the annual military exercise Balikatan.