The US Navy’s Iowa Class battleship is undergoing $18m of maintenance and preservation work for three months while in dry dock at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

The 65-year-old warship, nicknamed the ‘Mighty Mo’, is best known for hosting the formal surrender of Japan in 1945, and has been moored in Pearl Harbor for the past 11 years.

The hull of 887ft battleship, now called the Battleship Missouri Memorial, will be sandblasted and painted and all marine growth removed.

The preservation work will be carried out by BAE Systems Ship Repair, which has been contracted for the task.

The 54,889t vessel is slated to return to Battleship Row at Pearl Harbour on 7 January 2010.

The Mighty Mo launched in 1944 was decommissioned in 1955 but revived in the 1980s. The battleship was last in dry dock in 1992, after it was decommissioned for the second and last time.