The US Navy has awarded a $175m contract to BAE Systems for the modernisation of the guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69).

Norfolk shipyard in Virginia will carry out a modernisation programme on board Vicksburg for 18 months.

The modernisation period (MODPRD) contract includes options that are expected to bring the cumulative value to $175.1m if exercised.

BAE Systems, which started the Vicksburg’s initial upgrade programme in May 2017, plans to begin the final phase of MODPRD work later this month, with completion scheduled in July next year.

This would allow Vicksburg to rejoin the operational fleet later on.

BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair vice-president and general manager Dave Thomas said: “Over the last few years, BAE Systems has worked extensively on modernising the navy’s Atlantic Fleet cruisers.

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“Our experience with cruisers and the expertise of our ship repair partners will return these vital combatants to the fleet with clear improvements and upgraded capability to carry out their missions.”

As part of the contract, employees of the Norfolk shipyard and industry partners will collaborate on the ship’s weapons and engineering equipment.

They will also work on the ship’s gas turbine propulsion system and restore crew habitability spaces.

The partners will also support the installation of a new Aegis combat system, communication suite and Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise System (CANES).

The shipyard is performing similar work on the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64), which started in January last year and is expected to be completed this year.

With BAE Systems’ latest work, the service lives of Gettysburg and Vicksburg are expected to be extended into the mid-2030s.

Last December, the company secured a $2.68bn contract to deliver additional Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rockets to the US Navy.