NASSCO gets $83M for USS Boxer modernization

The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics’ shipbuilding division NASSCO a $83 million contract for the refurbishment of the U.S. Navy’s Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD-4).

NASSCO will perform a phased maintenance availability on the ship which includes depot-level maintenance, alterations, and modifications that update and improve the ship’s military and technical capabilities.

The government announcement did not specify whether the USS Boxer would be upgraded for F-35B operations like its sister ship USS Essex. The U.S. Navy earlier said that Essex was the third big-deck platform (after USS Wasp and USS America) to become capable of operating supersonic short take-off, vertical landing (STOVL) fighter.

The F-35B is expected to become the new standard across the amphibious fleet.

USS Boxer will complete the planned maintenance availability in San Diego, California, with work expected to be completed by October 2017.