The Navy last Friday awarded 381 Constructors a $1.7 billion contract to build a multi-mission dry dock at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine as part of a decades-long shipyard improvement plan. 

This contract is part of the 20-year Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan (SIOP) that aims to improve infrastructure at the nation’s four public shipyards that conduct maintenance work on U.S. Navy nuclear-powered vessels like attack submarines. That includes dry dock as well as production pieces, capital improvements and workflow improvements. This specific contract covers dry dock improvements at the Portsmouth yard.

The four public shipyards are the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Me.; Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va.; Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Wash.; and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Hawaii.

This contract is being funded incrementally, beginning with $70 million at the time of award. The second increment will be funded at $214 million in fiscal year 2022, followed by $390 million in FY ‘23, a fourth increment of $405 million in FY ‘24, then $300 million in FY ‘25, $200 million in FY ‘26, and a final installment of $152 million in FY ‘27.

The announcement noted the contract includes seven unexercised options that, if exercised, would increase the total value to $1.7 billion.

Work will occur in Kittery, Me., and is expected to be finished by June 2028. 

The seven year project involves building a partitioned addition to Dry Dock #1 within the superflood basic area. The addition will consist of two bays, called Dry Dock #1 North and Dry Dock #1 West while the existing Dry Dock #1 will be renamed Dry Dock #1 East. Included in the work is construction of new concrete floors, walls, pump systems, caissons, and other mechanical and electrical utilities.

The contract announcement underscored both North and West segments “will be of sufficient size and depth to support the maintenance and overhaul of Virginia-class submarines, Blocks I-IV.”

In a statement, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) said the effort aims to increase the shipyard’s capacity to maintain, modernize and repair Los Angeles-class and Virginia-class attack submarines and return them to the fleet on time.

“Our naval shipyards need these major modernization efforts to sustain our ability to maintain our nuclear submarine fleet. The Navy needs combat-ready ships and submarines to go where they’re needed, when they’re needed, and these major upgrades and reconfigurations at our naval shipyards will enable the fleet to meet its future missions,” Vice Adm. William Galinis, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, said in a statement.

“We look forward to getting this critical construction mega-project underway. This project — and other work being planned at all four of our naval shipyards — is one of the most significant and direct contributions that our systems command team can make to enable our Navy’s lethality and maximize its readiness for many years to come,” Rear Adm. John Korka, commander of NAVFAC and Navy chief of Civil Engineers, added.

The Navy noted the Omaha, Neb., based 381 Constructors won the contract under a “best-value source selection” procurement process, which includes technical factors and price.

The service said it received two non-price proposals but did not disclose the other offeror.