UPDATE 1-Huntington Ingalls wins $1.5 bln deal for amphibious ship
WASHINGTON, July 27 (Reuters) - U.S. shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc has won a $1.5 billion contract to build LPD 27, the 11th and final amphibious transport dock ship, the Pentagon and the company announced on Friday.
The 25,000-ton ship, part of the San Antonio class of amphibious assault ships, which will be 684 feet long and 105 feet wide, is to be built at the company's Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the company said.
The contract, which has a fixed price and incentive fee, runs through June 2017, the Pentagon said in its daily digest of major contracts.
Huntington Ingalls, spun off from Northrop Grumman Corp last year, is building all the ships in the new class, which are just beginning to enter service with the U.S. Navy. The 11 ships in the class are slated to replace up to 41 previous ships.
They are use to embark, transport, land and support elements of a U.S. Marine Corps landing force. They will also operate the Marines' new V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor plane, which lands and takes off like a helicopter, but flies like a plane.
The new class of ships has been plagued by a host of technical issues and cost problems, many linked to the Avondale, Louisiana shipyard where many of the ships were built. HII is closing this shipyard and moving construction to Mississippi.
Navy acquisition chief Sean Stackley in January said the Navy was seeing improvement in the LPD class of ships. The company took charges for cost overruns on LPD ships 22 through 25 but has said the company is doing better with LPD 26, which is in the early stages of construction.
LPD 27 will be the last ship in the class.