PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The U.S. Department of Defense announced big news for Ingalls Shipbuilding on Thursday afternoon. The shipyard has been awarded a $3.1 billion contract to build LHA 8, an amphibious assault ship, for the U.S. Navy.
"This award adds to the successful amphibious shipbuilding legacy at Ingalls since the 1950s," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. "Our shipbuilders have proven this success by delivering 14 vital and capable large-deck warships to our nation's amphibious fleet.
Overall, it's a $3.1 billion contract to build LHA 8. Thursday, Ingalls got the first part of that funding, which is $272 million. The first installment will cover the advanced engineering and purchasing costs so the shipyard can prepare to build LHA 8.
Ingalls resumed building LHA amphibious assault ships in 2008. The USS America, LHA 6, was christened on Oct. 20, 2012.
The shipyard is building a second America-class ship, the USS Tripoli. That $2.3 billion contract was awarded in 2012.
"This contract shows the Navy's confidence in our ability to build these ships to the highest-quality standards and to do so affordably for the American taxpayers," said Cuccias. "We look forward to delivering another great ship."
The LHA ships weigh more than 44,000 tons, are nearly three football fields in length and stand 20 stories high. The ships are used to transport Marine Expeditionary Units and their equipment.