Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The Navy has awarded a $500 million contract for shipyards in Hawaii and and Washington state.
The five-year contract award will support projects to modernize Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Hawaii and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and IMF in Washington state, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command said Monday.
It will also support maintaining and repairing Navy ships and submarines at both shipyards.
The award is part of the Navy's $21 billion Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program, or SIOP, to make changes to the nation's four aging public shipyards, which are all capable of maintaining the Navy's nuclear-powered fleet over a 20-year period.
The public shipyards were originally designed and built in the 19th and 20th centuries for sail and conventionally-powered ships.
"To create the public shipyards that our nation needs requires investments to improve their capacity and capability," Capt. Warren LeBeau, SIOP program manager, in a statement.
"This contract directly supports the vital roles that Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard have in terms of our national defense by executing maintenance and modernization on submarines and aircraft carriers to provide combat-ready ships to the fleet," LeBeau said.
Last month a $1.7 billion contract was awarded for a seven-year dry dock renovation project at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, as part of the SIOP.
The other public shipyard which is part the SIOP, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, broke ground on a $200 million dry dock renovation last year.