A defense contractor's North Charleston location will design and test improvements to 62 military vehicles under a $16 million contract.

Science Applications International Corp. said it was awarded the 10-month job by U.S. Marine Corps's land systems unit

The initial set of upgrades will be made to 10 prototype and 52 amphibious assault vehicles, or AAVs.

"From ship to shore to objective, the AAV is designed to assault any shoreline from the well decks of Navy assault ships. AAVs are highly mobile, tracked armored amphibious vehicles that transport Marines and cargo to and through hostile territory," SAIC said in statement.

The McLean, Va.-based company's contract could be extended up to five years and total $192 million if the Marine Corps chooses to exercise all of its follow-up options. SAIC's local office is near the Charleston Naval Weapons Station in Remount Business Park.