National Steel and Shipbuilding Company
(NASSCO), a General Dynamics Company
, received $2 million for the first phase of an estimated $25 million contract to convert a U.S. Navy Strategic Sealift Program vessel to meet the readiness capabilities of the U.S. Marine Corps. Included in Phase I will be the development of design changes, material specifications, as well as the planning for the Phase II conversion effort, effective immediately. The vessel set for conversion — USNS Soderman — is scheduled to arrive at NASSCO during the summer of 2000, and is expected to finish on March 1, 2001.
The conversion encompasses added living quarters for 50 additional personnel, changing of the stern ramp to an in-water ramp and upgrading of the helicopter landing deck to an all-weather flight deck.