The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock (LPD) USS Mesa Verde will undergo a $91.6m maintenance and modernisation programme later in 2024, following the award of a fixed-price contract to Virginia-based Marine Hydraulics International by US Sea Systems Command.

Announcing the contract on 22 February, the US Department of Defense (DoD) said that the scope of the contract included all labour, equipment, production, testing, and quality assurance necessary to prepare for and accomplish the USS Mesa Verde fiscal 2024 Selected Restricted Availability (SRA).

An SRA is an availability scheduled by the US Chief of Naval Operations for the accomplishment of repairs and selected alterations by industry that can coincide with intermediate level maintenance programmes.

The US DoD stated the deal includes options, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $147.2m. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by August 2025.

USS Mesa Verde active in European theatre

The USS Mesa Verde is currently deployed to the Mediterranean Sea as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG), which comprises the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), and the USS Mesa Verde.

Since deploying to the Mediterranean in mid-2023, BATARG has been engaged in maritime security operations and military exercises with European partner nations, as well as forming a mobile, amphibious response capability able to deploy into active warzones if required.

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The presence of the battlegroup in the region also serves to provide visible support to Israel, which is engaged in a controversial campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The USS Mesa Verde is the third of the San Antonio-class LPDs and was commissioned into US Navy service in 2007. Displacing over 24,000 tonnes, it can accommodate around 550 US Marine Corps personnel, or around one-quarter of a single Marine Expeditionary Unit, in addition to its own complement of around 700 crew.

With the signing of the SRA contract, once returned from the Mediterranean deployment the USS Mesa Verde looks set to undertake a year-long maintenance and upgrade programme at Norfolk Naval Base.