The U.S. Navy exercised a $93.8 million contract modification
option to Northrop Grumman Corporation for detail design and the procurement of long-lead-time material on the LHA 6 amphibious assault ship program.
This is the first option exercised on the initial contract,
awarded in July 2005. With this option, the total contract value has
increased to $203.7 million. If all options are exercised, the contract
has the potential to reach $264 million.
The advance procurement
LHA 6 construction-related contract was
awarded last summer, with funds earmarked for major equipment and
material such as propellers, reduction gears, five 500-ton air
conditioning units and electrical switching equipment, as well as for
advanced planning and systems engineering. This new award also supports
additional material acquisition, but predominately provides funding and
authorization for LHA 6's detail design.
The LHA 6 will replace the LHA 1 class of amphibious assault
ships, and will have the flexibility to operate in the traditional role
as the flagship for an expeditionary strike group as well as
potentially playing a key role in the Maritime Prepositioning Force
Future. As the Navy's Seabasing plan matures in the next few years, the
flexibility to operate with the expeditionary strike group and as part
of the Maritime Prepositioning Force Future will make the LHA 6 a vital
part of the Sea Base.
Northrop Grumman delivered five USS Tarawa-class (LHA 1) and
seven USS Wasp-class (LHD 1) ships to the Navy, with an eighth, Makin
Island (LHD 8), currently under construction. The LHA 6 Class will be a
variant of the gas-turbine powered LHD 8 and will launch tilt-rotor
helicopters and fixed-wing, short take-off vertical landing aircraft in
support of amphibious operations.