US Navy public shipyards to get $21bn modernisation boost

Hemanth Kumar and Talal Husseini 5 April 2019 (Last Updated April 5th, 2019 11:59)

The US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has started work on a $21bn project to modernise four public naval shipyards to support the combat readiness of the Navy.

US Navy public shipyards to get $21bn modernisation boost
The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) transits the Elizabeth River to Norfolk Naval Shipyard to undergo a docking planned incremental availability. Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dakota L. David.

The US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has started work on a $21bn project to modernise four public naval shipyards to support the combat readiness of the navy.

NAVSEA established the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan (SIOP) Program Office, PMS-555, in June last year to coordinate the plan to recapitalise the shipyards.

PMS-555 programme manager Steven Lagana said: “The SIOP articulated a vision that shipyard infrastructure has three interdependent components: the dry docks, the facilities, and the capital equipment; and that these configurations are fundamentally linked to the shipyards’ ability to execute the mission they are tasked to do.

“We are utilising modelling and simulation as a tool to integrate these components to better inform the desired infrastructure layout. Through this, the navy will be in a better position to make meaningful, long-lasting investments that not only address the condition of the facilities and equipment but also change the way the work is conducted. Once we’re finished, the navy will recover more than 300,000 work days per year, every year.”

Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) and Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) will support SIOP in the project.

“We are utilising modelling and simulation as a tool to integrate these components to better inform the desired infrastructure layout.”

Infrastructure modernisation works at the four nuclear shipyards will include critical dry dock repairs, restoring needed shipyard facilities and optimising their placement, and replacing ageing and deteriorating capital equipment.

The initiative is aimed at enhancing productivity and maintenance throughput of the naval shipyards.

The navy also stated that the upgrades are part of efforts to enable the shipyards to meet the fleet’s future aircraft carrier and submarine depot maintenance and inactivation requirements looking out through 2040.

NAVSEA commander vice admiral Tom Moore said: “The navy relies on NAVSEA to deliver combat-ready ships and submarines out of planned maintenance availabilities on time. Modernising our four naval shipyards, a massive task under any circumstance, is critical because it’s the only way we will be able to meet our future mission requirements.”

“This is a comprehensive plan developed in partnership with NAVFAC and CNIC, that will allow the navy to bring it’s organic shipyards into the 21st century to fully support the navy the nation needs.”

The four US Navy public shipyards to receive the upgrades include Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine; Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Washington; and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.