DUQM Naval dockyard completes US military sealift command contract in Oman

Duqm Naval Dockyard (DND) has successfully completed its first dry docking project, the Repair, Overhaul and Dry Docking (ROH DD) of the Fast Expeditionary Transport ship, the USNS Choctaw County.

DND, a Joint Venture (JV) between Babcock International and the Oman Dry Dock Company (ODC) was established in Duqm, Oman in June 2017 and is a strategic location in Babcock International’s global support footprint.

The completed contract for the U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) represents another significant milestone in the JV and demonstrates the capability of DND for future work packages with the U.S Navy.

The work, which was carried out in No2 Dry dock at Duqm, involved complex work on hull systems, internal systems and the ship’s stern ramp, which is a key feature of these flexible platforms, enabling the swift embarkation and disembarkation of vehicles, stores and personnel in challenging conditions where pier side support may not be available.

The USNS Choctaw County is a ‘Spearhead’ Class Fast Expeditionary Transport, used by U.S. Military Sealift Command for the fast transport of troops and material in the Middle East theatre of operations.

Al Stangroom, Babcock Oman’s Managing Director said: “With an ‘on cost, on time’ contract delivery, our team at Duqm has the proven expertise and capability to successfully deliver complex warship and auxiliary contracts, including dry docking of specialist vessels like USNS Choctaw County. We have already undertaken successful contracts with U.S. and Royal Navy warships, confirming that DND is well positioned, both in geographical and in technical support terms.”

Said Hamood Said Al Maawali, CEO of ODC, said: “Our experienced commercial repair team has worked hand in glove as partners since June 2017, and I welcome the additional warship repair capability that is now represented by the increasingly mature JV.

“The successful completion of this contract is a major step forward, demonstrating Duqm is a competitive and fully capable dockyard for the maintenance, overhaul and repair of customer’s warships.”

Representatives from Duqm Naval Dockyard and Babcock are attending the Future Surface Fleet 2019 conference in Portsmouth UK, from 4-6 June, to showcase the facility’s proven through-life support capabilities.