• 81°

Mississippi shipbuilder awarded contract for future warship’s construction

WASHINGTON — The construction of the U.S. Navy’s next LHA, or landing helicopter assault vessel, at Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula received an additional boost Tuesday.

The Navy announced the Mississippi facility was awarded a $107.19 million contract to purchase long-lead-time materials in advance of construction of LHA 9, an American-class amphibious ship.

The contract is the fifth increment of long-lead-time material for the ship.

“The talented shipbuilders at Ingalls build some of the world’s finest ships for our U.S. Navy fleet,” U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss) said in a press release  Tuesday. “This new award is a down payment on the construction of LHA 9, the third of a new generation of amphibious assault ships that will enhance our Sailors’ and Marines’ ability to project power around the globe.”

The America-class amphibious assault ships are designed to deliver a Marine Expeditionary Unit using rotary-lift and fixed-wing aircraft, functioning in many ways like a smaller aircraft carrier.

“Utilizing advanced appropriations funding to procure long-lead-time materials for the LHA 9 allows Ingalls shipbuilders to work undeterred in our effort to provide the Navy with the ships it needs,” U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said. “I’m pleased to see this contract issued now as we begin the FY2022 process of funding future shipbuilding needs.”

The USS America, commissioned in October 2014, was the first ship constructed in this class. The USS Tripoli was commissioned in July 2020. Both ships were built by Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula. Another in this family of ships, the USS Bougainville, is currently under construction in Pascagoula.

In May 2020, the company received a $187.46 million contract for long-lead-time material and advance procurement activities for LHA 9, which has not yet been named.