Wicker, Cochran, Palazzo Praise $3.1 Billion Contract for Navy Shipbuilding on Mississippi Coast

Navy Awards $272.4 Million Contract, With Options Valued at $3.1 Billion, for LHA 8 Amphibious Assault Ship, Contract Design Support for LX(R) Class Warship

June 30, 2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Congressman Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., on Thursday praised a Navy contract awarded to Huntington Ingalls that could have a cumulative value of $3.1 billion for LHA 8, an America-class amphibious assault ship.

The initial contract of $272.4 million awarded Thursday will support the planning, advanced engineering and procurement of long lead time material for the LHA 8. Options for the contract include contract design support for the LX(R) class warship, which would be based on the San Antonio-class LPD amphibious warship built at Ingalls.

“Huntington Ingalls continues to produce world-class vessels that are essential for naval operations,” said Wicker, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower. “Amphibious warships like the LHA 8 send a powerful signal to our adversaries and allies that America’s military remains strong. This is great news for our nation’s armed forces and our state, especially the thousands of families across south Mississippi who benefit from the construction and design of these state-of-the-art ships,”

“This is a significant contract, which will allow shipbuilders in Mississippi to continue providing the Navy and Marines the modern ships they require. It also opens the door for Mississippi shipbuilders to be at the forefront of designing a new class of warships to meet our national security needs,” said Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense.

“Today’s announcement is coming at an opportune time for our Navy and Marine Corps who have continued to express a need for more amphibious ships. The LHA-8 will serve as an asset in allowing them to respond to threats quickly and effectively. And of course it will be one of the best in the world because it’s being built right here in South Mississippi at Ingalls Shipbuilding,” said Palazzo, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee.

The Mississippi lawmakers continue to use their committee positions to support the authorization and funding of shipbuilding required by the Department of Defense.

The funding for this contract was provided in the FY2016 Defense Appropriations Bill, which was signed into law last December. That measure included $477 million in advanced procurement, $199 million above the President’s budget request, for the construction of the LHA 8 amphibious assault ship. In addition, $250 million for advanced procurement was provided to accelerate delivery of the LX(R) class warship. The Navy and U.S. Marine Corps last year signed a memorandum of understanding to base the LX(R) design on the existing San Antonio-class LPD amphibious warship, which is built at Ingalls.

The bulk of the work on the $272.4 million LHA 8 contract, estimated at 44 percent, will be carried out at the Pascagoula shipyard. Construction on the LHA 8 is expected to be completed in 2024.

The LHA amphibious assault ships enable the Navy and Marine Corps to project power throughout the world. The America-class amphibious assault ships are designed to deliver a Marine Expeditionary Brigade using rotary lift and fixed wing aircraft. Ingalls is currently building LHA 7 for the Navy.