The U.S. Navy is scheduled to start installing updates on the USS America amphibious assault ship to support the operations of the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft aboard the vessel, The National Interest reported Wednesday.
British defense contractor BAE Systems said USS America will undergo a series of hull, mechanical and electrical repairs as well as receive additional modifications for F-35 integration.
The Navy previously upgraded USS America to align its weapons and sensors with F-35s as well as boost the flight deck’s capacity to handle F-35B vertical take-offs and landings.
The U.S. Marine Corps‘ F-35B short take-off and landing variant have gone through flight tests onboard USS America.
USS America is the lead ship of the America-class amphibious assault ships, which currently includes one other vessel named USS Tripoli.
Navy officials said America-class ships are designed to carry up to 31 aircraft in total, including the MV-22 Osprey, CH-53 Super Stallion, AH-1Z Super Cobra, UH-1Y Huey, F-35B and the MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter.