The Department of Defense and BAE Systems announced on Friday an agreement worth about $200 million for drydock and perform nearly 18 months of maintenance and modernization work aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4).
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 on-board; 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 $207.48 million.
Additionally, days earlier, the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship had reported its first case of coronavirus, leading to the confinement of 80 senior enlisted sailors and officers in a small room on the ship. With rising infections on at least three frontline warships, the US navy is besieged with anxiety. Fears of a rapid spread of the epidemic among tightly packed crews have led commanders to reduce the number of mass gatherings and implement a strict distancing protocol.