The U.S. Navy has awarded a $48m cost-plus fixed-fee contract modification to Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) for advance procurement of long-lead materials and performance of engineering/planning efforts for LHA 7, the second in the Navy's newest class of large-deck amphibious assault ships. The first ship, America (LHA 6) is being built in Pascagoula and is currently 33 percent complete.
With this award, Northrop Grumman will provide additional engineering, planning and technical support for the current contract. The Navy issued the initial contract in June for $175m. The work will be performed at the company's Pascagoula facility.
"This contract modification continues the ongoing advance procurement process for the Navy's newest large-deck amphibious ship," said Kevin Jarvis, program manager for large deck programs. "These large deck ships are important to the U.S. Navy's fleet and our team is committed to quality builds. The advance procurement allows our focus to remain on our supply chain management and design development as we prepare for the eventual construction of the ship."
LHA 7 will be 844 ft long and 106 ft wide and weigh 44,854 tons. Its hybrid propulsion system will drive it to speeds in excess of 22 knots on its gas turbines, but also will run cost-efficiently on its auxiliary electric propulsion motors. It will accommodate 1,204 crew and can surge to accommodate 1,871 troops.
LHA 7 will have an extended hangar deck with two higher hangar bay areas, each fitted with an overhead crane for aircraft maintenance. The ship will also provide increased aviation fuel capacity, stowage for aviation parts and support equipment. In addition, LHA 7 will be able to embark and launch the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, cargo and attack helicopters, and the short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) variant F-35B Lightning II Strike Fighter.