April 5 (UPI) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries has been awarded an $18.9 million contract for continued upgrades to the USS Columbus, a Los Angeles-class submarine for the U.S. Navy.
The contract is for the maintenance, repair, fleet-funded alterations, testing and routine work that includes growth work on Columbus, identified as SSN 762, during its scheduled fiscal 2017 engineered overhaul, the Defense Department announced Thursday.
This modification is for continued execution and growth work arising from the availability work package and additional required work discovered during the inspection of shipboard components.
Work will be performed at the company's shipyard in Newport News, Va., and is expected to be completed by this August.
Naval fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance in the full amount will be obligated at time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
In July 2017, Huntington Ingalls Industries was awarded a $219 million modification to a previously awarded contract to execute maintenance and modernization efforts on nuclear-powered Columbus.
"This contract modification provides us the opportunity to work our first Los Angeles-class engineered overhaul availability at Newport News Shipbuilding," said Matt Needy, Newport News' vice president for submarines and fleet support said at the time. "We are excited about the opportunity to work closely with the Navy and the crew of the USS Columbus to complete this important availability and re-deliver her to the fleet on time."
In September 2017, the submarine was welcomed to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after a six-month Western Pacific deployment. While on deployment, the sub, with a crew of135, traveled more than 34,000 nautical miles crossing the equator twice.
The Columbus is the 51st Los Angeles-class submarine and the 12th improved version of this class, which includes a vertical launch system for Tomahawk cruise missiles and an improved hull design for under-ice operations, according to the U.S. Navy.
In June 1994, the Columbus completed a post-shipyard maintenance availability in Groton, Conn., after initial construction and shakedown operations. In September 1994, the ship was transferred to Pearl Harbor and joined the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force.
The nuclear-powered Virginia-class attack submarine is the U.S. Navy's newest undersea warfare vessel.