The US Navy has awarded a $104m modification contract to General Dynamics (GD) NASSCO to refurbish and upgrade its Whidbey Island-Class dock landing ship, USS Comstock (LSD 45).

Under the contract, the company will inspect and test ship systems and components, in addition to carrying out onboard renovation and modernisation related activities.

Fred Harris, GD NASSCO president, said: "This contract award highlights NASSCO’s ship-repair capabilities as a premier provider of maintenance services to the US Navy."

"NASSCO is committed to delivering the same high-quality performance across the board, in new construction as well as ship repair activities, in San Diego, Norfolk and Portsmouth, Va., and Mayport, Fla."

USS Comstock has been designed to conduct amphibious operations through transporting, launching and supporting assault landing craft, marines and combat cargo to designated areas throughout the world.

"Commissioned on 3 February 1990, the 186m-long, 25.6m-wide Comstock has a fully loaded displacement of 16,000t."

Commissioned on 3 February 1990, the 186m-long, 25.6m-wide Comstock has a fully loaded displacement of 16,000t, can cruise at a top speed of 22k and can accommodate 20 officers, 25 chief petty officers and 302 enlisted members.

The company had already received funding to start upgrading Comstock in April 2012, while work on the original contract began the following month.

Armed with two 20mm Phalanx CIWS, two 25mm Mk-38 guns, six .50 calibre machine guns and two rolling airframe missile (RAM) systems, the LSD is capable of carrying out amphibious assault on a range of hostile shores.

Work under the new contract will be performed at the company’s facility in San Diego, US, and is expected to be carried out through to May 2013.

Image: The US Navy’s Whidbey Island-Class amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43). Photo courtesy of: US Navy.