KEY POINTS

  • The award extends an existing contract by $1.5 billion
  • Ingalls has already delivered 11 of these ships
  • San Antonio class ships crucial part of the Navy force

Huntington Ingalls, the premier shipbuilder for the U.S. Navy, said Friday that it had won a $1.5 billion modification to an existing contract for the design and building of a ship known as an amphibious transport dock (LPD). 

This ship will be the 15th in the San Antonio class; all of them have been on a fixed budget with incentives. Defense Blog quoted Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias as saying: "In building this 15th LPD Ingalls' experienced shipbuilders will continue this hot production line of great amphibious warships for our Navy and Marine Corps team."

The San Antonio class ships are a crucial portion of the Navy's 21st-century assault force. The 684-foot-long 105-foot-wide ships are used to dispatch and land Marines and other military troops and their equipment onshore using air cushions or regular landing craft. These ships can also support flight operations from helicopters and other vertical takeoff and aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey. 

uss-portland-2477268_1920 USS Portland underway. Photo: Pixabay

Sgt. Dan Osterland with the United States Marine Corps tells International Business Times that these new ships have become the backbone of their operations, replacing outdated technology and making sure that the Marines and other Navy personnel can accomplish their mission wherever that may be. 

Huntington Ingalls has completed 11 of the LPD ships already, and they have three others under construction. There was no end to date indicated for the contract. The shipbuilder has been mentioned previously for its fantastic work on the USS Kennedy which is to be completed months ahead of schedule and well under original budget estimates.