The US Navy has awarded a new contract to BAE Systems to refurbish and upgrade the navy’s 33rd Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Howard (DDG 83).

The depot maintenance period (DMP) availability contract has a base value of $47.8m and includes options that, if exercised, would take the total value of the contract to $66.5m.

"BAE Systems is set to carry out extensive upgrade works on the navy vessel for a 15-month period at the company’s shipyard in San Diego."

BAE Systems is set to carry out extensive upgrade works on the navy vessel for a 15-month period at the company’s shipyard in San Diego, which also serves as the ship’s homeport, as part of the deal.

The 509ft-long DDG 83 is the first West Coast-based destroyer to undergo the US Navy’s DMP modernisation and refit programme.

The project will see BAE Systems will carry out a series of hull, mechanical and electrical repairs, in addition to modernising the combat systems suite on-board the destroyer.

BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair vice-president and general manager David Thomas said: “We look forward to conducting the first-ever West Coast destroyer DMP availability on the Howard.

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“The extensive work to be done on-board aligns perfectly with the experience and capabilities of our employees and subcontractors.”

Work on the initiative is expected to commence in February and is slated for completion in May next year.

The vessel was originally launched and christened on 20 November 1999, and commissioned on 20 October 2001.

BAE Systems’ San Diego shipyard also recently received an $11.5m contract to dry-dock and upgrade the US Navy’s mine countermeasures ship USS Champion (MCM 4).

In addition, the company’s shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia, has secured a DMP contract to refurbish the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79).