Missouri enters Pearl Harbor drydock


POSTED: Wednesday, October 14, 2009



The battleship USS Missouri entered a Pearl Harbor dry dock promptly at 8 a.m. today to begin an $18 million, three-month, hull-to-mast makeover.

The 887-foot-long, 54,889-ton Missouri will be in Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard dry dock 4 until Jan. 7 and then be returned to its Ford Island pier in time for the 66th anniversary celebration of its launch.

Paul Dyson, vice president for marketing and sales for the USS Missouri Association, said $10 million of the renovation was appropriated by Congress. The remaining amount was generated by visitor fees and donations.

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard officials said the Missouri is the largest vessel to enter the dry dock, which is 139 feet wide, 42 feet deep, and 1,100 feet long. At 11 a.m. today, they will begin draining the 53 million gallons of water in the dry dock, a process that will take about six hours.

In dry dock, work will include sandblasting, hull inspection and any needed repairs, followed by preservation, treatment and paint.

One hundred men and women pulling mooring lines on either side of the dry dock guided the battleship into the dry dock. 

After the ship is positioned over 310 keel blocks in the dry dock, a large door will be lowered and the 53 million gallons poured out. The ship will then settle on the keel blocks.

BAE Systems Ship Repair has the contract to overhaul the historic battleship, which was the site of Japan's surrender in World War II, on Sept. 2, 1945.