BAE Systems has received a US$200.3 million ($320 million) contract from the US Navy to drydock and perform nearly 18 months of maintenance and modernisation work aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4).
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The drydocking of USS Boxer will be the first time the company’s San Diego shipyard will use its 950-foot-long Pride of California drydock to service a large-deck warship. The shipyard is currently nearing completion of another major milestone for the drydock: the first simultaneous docking of two guided-missile destroyers on the West Coast.
BAE Systems’ San Diego shipyard will begin working aboard the 843-foot-long USS Boxer in June 2020. Under the awarded contract, BAE Systems will upgrade the ship to support and operate Joint Strike Fighters onboard; perform hull, tank and mechanical work; and make other shipboard improvements.
The shipyard is expected to complete its work aboard the 25-year-old ship in December 2021. The contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to US$207.48 million ($333.2 million).
Last October, BAE Systems simultaneously docked the USS Stethem (DDG 63) and USS Decatur (DDG 73). The guided-missile destroyers are scheduled to be re-floated together from the Pride of California drydock later this spring. The Pride of California, the largest drydock in California, is capable of lifting more than 55,000 tons.
Amphibious warships are designed to support the Marine Corps tenets of Operational Maneuver From the Sea (OMFTS) and Ship to Objective Maneuver (STOM). They must be capable of sailing in harm's way and enable rapid combat power build-up ashore in the face of opposition.
Because of their inherent capabilities, these ships have been and will continue to be called upon to also support humanitarian and other contingency missions on short notice. The US maintains the largest and most capable amphibious force in the world.