On September 27, the US Navy amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) was placed in dry dock in San Diego.
The USS Essex, of the Wasp class, is similar to the flagship of the Spanish Navy, the "Juan Carlos I". Both are amphibious aircraft carriers, that is, they have a flight deck that occupies the entire length of the ship, and from which they operate helicopters and STOVL fighters (short take-off and vertical landing), and they also have a flood dock at the stern from which amphibious vehicles and landing craft can be deployed.
The aircraft carrier, one of seven of its type that the US Navy has in active service (after the fire and loss of the USS Bonhomme Richard), had this maintenance period scheduled to update and renew many key systems on board. As announced Naval News in April, this operation was awarded to the BAE Systems shipyard in San Diego, for an amount of 148.2 million dollars, and The works are expected to be completed in September 2023. Before this operation, the same shipyard had already carried out 22-month dry dock maintenance on the aircraft carrier USS Boxer (LHD-4), also of the Wasp class.
The US Navy today published a fast motion video of the transfer of the USS Essex from the Naval Base San Diego to the BAE Systems shipyard in that port. The operation is certainly impressive, especially since the dry dock used, the "Pride of California", is a floating dock that can lift ships of up to 61,000 tons, and with dimensions of 289 meters long and 62 wide.
You can see some screenshots of the video below. Here we see the USS Essex before leaving Naval Base San Diego.
The USS Essex in its transfer to the BAE Systems shipyard, which is very close to the San Diego Naval Base. In the background we see the Coronado Bridge.
A beautiful night image taken from the starboard gangway next to the flight deck, during the transfer of the ship to the dry dock.
The USS Essex heading to the floating dock "Pride of California", still submerged. On the right we see a San Antonio class amphibious ship.
The USS Essex already positioned on the "Pride of California" floating dock, ready to be raised.
The USS Essex already raised above the floating dock, with the first light of dawn.
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