BAE Systems has announced a new investment of approximately $100m for the purchase of a new dry dock and a range of infrastructure improvements at the San Diego shipyard, as part of efforts to expand its dry-docking capabilities.
The investment decision was revealed by the company at the commissioning ceremony of a new pier at the shipyard along the San Diego waterfront.
BAE Systems platforms and services sector president Erwin Bieber said: "Our primary strategy and mission in San Diego is to support the US Navy and its rebalance to the Pacific.
"The new pier and dry dock will complement and expand the shipyard's existing capacity in this homeport and provide greater capabilities to our customers."
Set to replace a 52-year-old pier, the new 415ft-long and 64ft-wide Pier 4 includes services such as fresh water, electrical, sewage, and storm water containment.
Claimed to be the company's largest dry dock in the US, the new 950-feet long and 205-feet wide dry dock will have a design lifting capacity of 55,000t and is expected to be operational in early 2017.
Expected to increase employment opportunities at the San Diego yard, the new pier and dry dock will support existing and future navy surface ship repair, maintenance, and modernisation activities.
They will also accommodate cruisers, destroyers, amphibious assault ships, mine countermeasures ships, and both variants of the Littoral Combat Ship.
The expanded facilities are expected to be employed by the company to service other ships and vessels under contract, including those for Military Sealift Command, the US Coast Guard, and the US Maritime Administration.
The dry dock will feature LED lighting, electric cranes, air-cooled emergency generators, a zero discharge closed-loop salt water system, and storm water recovery systems.
Image: BAE Systems San Diego shipyard. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.