The Navy awarded a $63 million construction project to build improvements at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Dry Dock 2 complex in Kittery, Maine, the second dry dock contract awarded there within a month.

Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) awarded the two-year project to Methuen Construction on Aug. 30. The company is contracted to add enclosures and facilities to the current dry dock to increase the shipyard’s capacity to maintain, modernize and repair Navy attack submarines, the service said in an announcement Sept. 4.

This specifically includes two towers, storage areas, railcar access, bay work areas, three bridge cranes and movable roofs.

Earlier in August, the Navy awarded 381 Constructors a $1.7 billion contract to build a multi-mission dry dock at the Portsmouth yard, funded incrementally and starting with $70 million at the time of award (Defense Daily, Aug 17). 

That seven-year project includes building a partitioned addition to Dry Dock #1 to construct two new bays as part of the overall dry dock, planned to increase the capability to maintain and repair Los Angeles-class and Virginia-class attack submarines.

Both contracts are part of the 20-year Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan (SIOP) that seeks to improve the infrastructure at the country’s four public shipyards that conduct maintenance work on nuclear-powered U.S. Navy vessels like attack submarines and aircraft carriers. 

SIOP is a joint effort formed by Naval Sea Systems Command, NAVFAC, and Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC).

The four public shipyards are the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard; 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.

“Our naval shipyards’ mission to deliver ships and submarines on time to combatant commanders around the world is critical to U.S. national security. This project will improve fleet readiness through improved facilities and infrastructure,” Capt. Warren LeBeau, SIOP program manager, said in a statement.

“NAVFAC is the engine behind the Navy’s SIOP efforts, swiftly and strategically providing the facilities engineering and construction support to our NAVSEA and CNIC partners. The award of this contract is critical to meeting our nation’s urgent strategic infrastructure needs, ensuring our Navy meets its readiness and lethality for generations to come,” Rear Adm. Lore Aguayo, commander, NAVFAC Atlantic, added.

The Navy noted the contract was awarded as a firm-fixed price contract containing six unexercised options that, if exercised, would raise the total value to about $94 million.