PASCAGOULA, Miss., June 15, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Navy awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) an additional contract modification today for further work on the LHA 6 amphibious assault ship. The contract award will be utilized for special study work and for additional long-lead time material procurement to support ship construction.
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"This contract provides the capabilities necessary to design and build the U.S. Navy's newest and most sophisticated amphibious assault ship," said Bat Robinson, sector vice president and general manager of Navy Programs for Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems sector. "Our company has been the sole provider of these large-deck amphibious ships for quite some time. This contract modification on the LHA 6 program will provide the opportunity now to place orders for materials with suppliers who have hot production lines. It will also support continued implementation of cost-reduction initiatives into the early system design of this extraordinary ship. Both of these initiatives will have a multiplying effect on total ship cost reduction when the ship starts production in late 2007."
This $20 million contract modification provides for special studies and analyses on LHA 6's systems, including hull, mission, total ship survivability, warfare, machinery and aviation. Engineering, planning and technical support work will be accomplished as requirements leading to the detail design development. Additional funding will be utilized for the long-lead material. The detail design and construction contract award is expected in 2007.
The LHA 6 will replace the LHA 1 class of amphibious assault ships, and will have the flexibility to operate in the traditional role as the flagship for an expeditionary strike group (ESG) as well as potentially playing a key role in the maritime prepositioning force future (MPF(F)). Northrop Grumman has built five LHAs, as well as seven USS Wasp (LHD 1)-class ships. The company's Pascagoula shipyard is currently building an eighth LHD, Makin Island.
LHA 6 will be a variant of the gas-turbine powered LHD 8. The one key difference is that the LHA 6 will be built without a well deck, which will optimize the ship for aviation operations. Changes from the LHD design include an extended hangar deck with two overhead cranes, extended high-bay areas for aircraft maintenance, a reconfigurable command-and-control complex, a relocated and smaller hospital facility, additional aviation fuel capacity, and numerous aviation-support spaces.
These changes equate to a ship that is much more capable of providing the nation with its only sustainable, forcible entry capability. LHA 6 will facilitate forward presence and power projection in support of expeditionary operational concepts as an integral part of joint, interagency and multinational maritime forces. It will embark, support and operate for sustained periods with landing force elements, including the STOVL F-35 B Joint Strike Fighter and the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey aircraft. It will also embark various naval amphibious tactical and administrative organizations for command and control.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With approximately 125,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
CONTACT: Bill Glenn Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (228) 327-1671 William.email@example.com