Against China? U.S. military builds big at Pearl Harbor for first time since WWII

The U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific military exercises, held every 2 years around the U.S. Hawaiian Islands and in Pearl Harbor, are currently the largest international maritime exercises in the world. Photo: taken from the RIMPAC military exercises website

The US will build a new dry dock at the Pearl Harbor shipyard that can be used for new submarine maintenance, as well as a large factory. The U.S. media U.S. “Stars and Stripes” newspaper pointed out that the U.S. military move in Pearl Harbor is to “confront China”.

According to the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Navy plans to build a new dry dock at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for the first time since World War II, and the new facility will be a huge submarine maintenance base.

A US Navy announcement in May this year estimated the construction cost of this new shipyard facility to be between $2 billion and $4 billion, the paper said. In the past, the U.S. Navy has noted that by continually upgrading U.S. attack submarine capabilities in the Pacific in response to China, the U.S. Navy needs to equip Hawaii with four dry docks, four of which can only be used for surface ship maintenance. In addition, orders for the construction of the U.S. Navy’s Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarines are due to be completed by 2022, making the need for additional dry docks in Hawaii increasingly urgent.

The four current drydocks at Pearl Harbor Shipyard were built in 1919, 1941, 1942, and 1943, and the site for the new drydock is next to Drydock 3. According to officials, only 497 feet (151 meters) of Dry Dock No. 3 will be obsolete, because the smaller size will not fit the U.S. Navy’s newest Virginia-class nuclear-powered assault submarines, which have been lengthened by 84 feet (25 meters) to a total length of 460 feet (140 meters). with 28 additional Tomahawk missiles.

The U.S. Navy recently said it is drafting an environmental assessment report for a 650-foot (198-meter) long dry dock and beachfront plant facility for submarines. The two mega-projects were packaged into a huge contract to build a multi-story production facility of more than 500,000 square feet (4.6 hectares) and a new dry dock with or without a roof, according to the report released by the US Navy in May.

The facility will be the first U.S. military shipyard to receive a coastal production facility, which is more useful for submarine maintenance, due to the rise of China in recent years, which has accelerated the push to upgrade the Pearl Harbor shipyard, Stars and Stripes noted. A draft of the construction is expected to be released in the summer of 2021, with a final release in 2022.