Jul 27 2012
Sun Herald, Biloxi
PASCAGOULA -- The U.S. Navy on Friday awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries a $1.5 billion contract for the detail design and construction of the amphibious transport dock LPD-27.
The ship will be built at the company's Ingalls Shipbuilding division.
Ingalls is building the entire San Antonio (LPD-17) class of ships, the newest addition to the Navy's 21st century amphibious assault force.
"This contract validates our proven performance in building amphibious ships," said Doug Lounsberry, vice president of the LPD program.
The San Antonio-class ships are 684 feet long and 105 feet wide. Their mission is to deploy up to 800 Marine Expeditionary Units and Brigade troops and transport landing craft, augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft.
The shipbuilder said the 11 ships of the LPD-17 class replace more than 41 ships the LPD-4, LSD-36, LKA-113 and LST-1179 classes of amphibious ships.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus informed members of the Mississippi congressional delegation Friday afternoon of the new contact.
"This long-anticipated contract represents progress by the Navy to use the money we've appropriated to modernize our naval forces," said Sen. Thad Cochran, vice chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. "I'm pleased that our shipbuilders in Mississippi will be able to continue their excellent work to give our Navy the amphibious assault ships it needs to meet our national security interests."
Sen. Roger Wicker, who serves as the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Seapower subcommittee, said: "The LPD-27, like the other 10 San Antonio class amphibious ships of her class, will provide a decisive advantage to our sailors and Marines wherever they may be called upon around the world."
"As our military strategy focuses increasingly on the Pacific region, supplying our Navy with these amphibious assault ships has never been more crucial," said Congressman Steven Palazzo, member of the House Armed Services' Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. "I applaud our South Mississippi workers at Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding for their record of excellence. Today's LPD-27 contract is further proof that they are the best in the business."