The US Navy has awarded a contract to BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair for the regular overhaul and dry docking of military sealift command (MSC) hospital ship USNS Mercy.

Under the $9.9m contract, the company will provide regular overhaul services, including dry docking the ship, ballast-tank preservation, rudder and propeller inspections, underwater hull preservation and undocking the ship.

USNS Mercy provides a floating, mobile, acute-surgical medical facility in support of US deployed forces and also supports US disaster relief and humanitarian assistance missions across the globe.

The 272.6m-long and 32.3m-wide hospital ship can accommodate a crew of 1,330.

The ship has a full load displacement of approximately 69,350t and a maximum cruising capacity of 17.5kt.

The contract has options that, if exercised, will raise the value of the deal to $11.2m.

Work will be carried out in San Francisco, California, and is expected to be complete by March 2010.

The contract has been awarded by the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command.