The U.S. Navy has awarded Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. (NYSE:HII), a $1.5 billion contract for the construction of the 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, John P. Murtha (LPD26). Construction is expected to start at the Pascagoula, Mississippi yard in May.
Huntington Ingalls Industries was previously a business sector of Northrop Grumman until effectively separating last week in a spinoff of the company to shareholders.
“This is the first contract awarded to our new company, and our shipbuilders are excited about continuing the LPD product line,” said Irwin F. Edenzon, corporate vice president and general manager, Gulf Coast Operations. “More than 1,500 shipbuilders will be working on LPD 26 over the next four years, and our focus will be on safety, quality, cost and schedule. We’ve been working hard for the last three years making some changes and focusing on important process improvements. I am confident that LPD 26 will be a great ship, and that is our commitment to the sailors and Marines who will serve on her.”
Ingalls Shipbuilding has delivered the first five ships of the San Antonio class, LPDs 17-21. San Diego (LPD 22) will undergo sea trials this summer; Anchorage (LPD 23) will be christened at the company’s Avondale facility on May 14; Arlington (LPD 24) was christened on March 26, and Somerset (LPD 25) is 40 percent complete and will be launched in 2012.
The functionality of the 11 planned ships of the San Antonio class will collectively replace more than 41 ships (the LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships), providing the Navy and Marine Corps with modern, sea-based platforms that are networked and survivable and built to operate with 21st century platforms, such as the MV-22 Osprey.
Pictured: The amphibious transport dock John P. Murtha (LPD 26) will be similar to the Ingalls-built USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), shown here underway during sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico courtesy Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.