BAE San Diego Shipyard to Modify USS America for F-35 Operations

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An F-35B prepares to launch from the flight desk of the USS America in a 2016 test. Navy photo

BAE Systems announced Wednesday a contract to modify the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS America to support new Marine Corps F-35B stealth fighters.

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The company’s San Diego shipyard has a $54.8 million contract for work on the USS America and the guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George.

Work on the America will start in March after the ship returns from its current deployment and is expected to be finished in December.

“Our work on board the America will keep the ship ready for immediate service,” said David Thomas, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair. “For the Cape St. George, it is the beginning of a four-year journey toward full modernization and the ability to serve in the fleet longer.”

In addition to the flight deck modifications, the work on the America also includes hull, mechanical, and electrical repairs.

The work on the Cape St. George will include replacement of critical aluminium structures and the removal of obsolete equipment under the Navy’s cruiser modernization program.

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