General Dynamics (GD) NASSCO has been contracted by the US Navy to conduct phased maintenance availability (PMA) aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, USS Essex (LHD-2).
Under the $156.5m contract, GD will undertake the PMA programme, which is a brief, labour intensive availability to conduct the general repairs and modifications enlisted under the depot-level maintenance activities.
The nature of the repairs is determined on the basis of the actual material condition of the ship and its equipment, which is determined by the port engineer.
The PMA includes the planning and execution of depot-level maintenance, alterations, and modifications that will update and improve the ship's military and technical capabilities.
Work under the contract will be carried out at the company's facility in San Diego, US, and is scheduled to be completed by June next year.
The US Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, San Diego, California, will serve as the contracting activity.
The Wasp-class ship USS Essex (LHD-2) measures 256m-long and displaces 40,500t. It is propelled by two boilers and two geared turbines, and can achieve a speed of 23k.
The vessel is incorporated with an air-cushion landing craft (LCACS) to support a squadron of Harrier II (AV-8B) short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) jets.
USS Essex is equipped with two semi-active radar-guided Nato Sea Sparrow missile systems (NSSMS) for anti-air warfare protection, two rolling airframe missile (RAM) systems and two Phalanx close-in weapon-system (CIWS) mounts to counter threats from low-flying aircraft and close-in small craft.
Last year, GD commenced the construction of the US Navy's second expeditionary base mobile (ESB) ship.
Image: The US Navy's Wasp-class ship, USS Essex. Photo: courtesy of Communication Specialist 3rd Class Huey D Younger Jr.