BAE Systems has been awarded two US Navy contracts for the modernisation of two Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided-missile destroyers.

The company will perform simultaneous maintenance and repair on Arleigh Burke-class vessels USS Stethem (DDG 63) and USS Decatur (DDG 73) at its San Diego shipyard next month.

The synchronised two-ship docking will cover the extended dry-docking selected restricted availability (EDSRA) of the vessels.

BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair vice-president and general manager David Thomas said: “The ability to simultaneously dock two DDGs is a special capability that BAE Systems brings to our navy customer and comes at a critical time when additional throughput is necessary to meet surface combatant demands and modernisation requirements.

“Beyond the remarkable nature of this tandem docking, it will be business as usual for our shipyard team and partners given our significant experience working with the Arleigh Burke class.”

The contracts have a combined value of $170.7m and the total value could reach up to $185m if all options are exercised.

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By GlobalData

Each of the ships has a displacement of around 9,000t. The company expects the vessels to be re-floated in April next year.

Commissioned in October 1995, the USS Stethem is the 13th ship of the Arleigh Burke class.

Work to be performed will include hull, mechanical and engineering repairs.

EDSRA work on both ships is anticipated to be completed in October next year.