Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. (NYSE:HII) announced a U.S. Navy contract awarded to its Ingalls Shipbuilding division for the construction of the 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. The contract, worth $1.5 billion, will be used to build John P. Murtha (LPD 26), with construction expected to start in May.
Huntington Ingalls Industries, America's largest military shipbuilder, was previously a business sector of Northrop Grumman Corp. until effectively separating on March 31 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 11 planned ships of the San Antonio class are a key element of the Navy's ability to project power ashore. Collectively, these ships functionally 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.
The San Antonio-class ships are 684 ft long and 105 ft wide and displace approximately 25,000 tons. Their principal mission is to deploy the combat and support elements of Marine Expeditionary Units and Brigades. The ships can carry up to 800 troops and have the capability of transporting and debarking air cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing crafts, augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft such as the MV-22. These ships will support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st century.