Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awarded BAE Systems a $104 million contract on Aug. 13 to conduct a scheduled depot maintenance period for the USS Preble (DDG-88).
This contract aims to maintain, modernize, and repair the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The contract announcement underscored under this award the ship “will receive comprehensive modernization for DDG-51 class ships to ensure a mission relevant service life.”
Work will occur at BAE’s San Diego Ship Repair facility and is expected to be finished by February 2022. The contract includes options that, if exercised, would raise the total value to $118 million.
The Defense Department described this work as a “long-term” availability solicited on a West Coast-wide basis without limiting the place of performance to the ship’s homeport.
Last year, NAVSEA released a sources sought notice conducting market research to determine industry capability and interest in performing the depot modernization period for the Preble and fellow destroyer USS Mustin (DDG-89) on the West Coast. At the time, the Navy said the work would last from September 2022 to February 20223 for the Preble (Defense Daily, Aug. 2, 2019)
Separately, Vice Adm. Ron Boxall, then-director on Navy Surface Warfare, said the service planned to install a Lockheed Martin [LMT] 60-150 kW High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance (HELIOS) system on a West Coast destroyer in 2021 “to burn the boats” (Defense Daily, March 20, 2019).
HELIOS will send out a single laser beam to target unmanned aircraft systems and small boats. It is expected to be integrated onto the ship for its remaining lifetime and be both bolted on the ship and integrated into the destroyer’s Aegis combat system.
In 2019, the Navy said DDG-88 will be that first ship to be fitted with the HELIOS system.
The Aug. 13 announcement added that “BAE Systems will provide the facilities and human resources capable of completing, coordinating, and integrating multiple areas of ship maintenance, repair, and modernization for USS Preble,” without mentioning if this includes HELIOS installation work.
The Navy said the contract was competitively procured using full and open competition with two competitive proposals received. In response to an inquiry, NAVSEA told Defense Daily they are not able to provide additional details on the contract, like the second competitor.
Anthony Paolino, a spokesman for General Dynamics’s National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) [GD], told Defense Daily they originally submitted a proposal on the Preble as well, “but decided to withdraw it after we won another contract. It would have created a docking conflict for us.”
The Navy did not comment on whether NASSCO’s initial proposal counts as the second bidder or if the contract announcement was counting a third contractor.