Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. on Tuesday said the U.S. Navy awarded an additional contract worth $196.5 million to its shipbuilding unit for work on an amphibious assault ship. The U.S. defense contractor said its Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding subsidiary will continue work towards the construction of an eighth WASP (LHD 1) Class large-deck, multipurpose, amphibious assault ship. The modified contract also includes options for later exercise by the Navy for building early ship assemblies and procuring additional material and equipment, Northrop said. Those options are worth about $82 million, it added. The contract modification will be followed by additional incremental awards as remaining options are exercised during the calendar year, eventually leading to a ship construction contract, expected in early 2002, Northrop said.