Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been selected to build the US Navy’s next large-deck amphibious assault warship, the ‘LHA 8’.
The contract is valued at just over US$270 million for the planning, advanced engineering and procurement of long-lead material. The award includes options that, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to US$3.1 billion.
The ‘LHA 8’ will be the first vessel of its class to house a well deck for deploying amphibious vehicles.
Ingalls is currently the sole builder of large-deck amphibious ships for the navy. The shipyard delivered its first amphibious assault ship, the Iwo Jima-class ‘USS Tripoli’ (LPH 10), in 1966.
Ingalls has since built five Tarawa-class (LHA 1) ships, eight Wasp-class (LHD 1) ships and the first in a new class of amphibious assault ships, ‘America’ (LHA 6), in 2014. The second ship in that class, ‘Tripoli’ (LHA 7), is currently under construction and scheduled to launch next summer.
The America-class vessels measure 257 metres long and 32 metres wide and are powered by two gas turbine engines.