Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on Tuesday awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] a $1.47 billion modification to procure the detail design and construction (DD&C) of the first Flight II San Antonio-class Landing Platform Dock, LPD-30.

LPD-30 is set to be the 14th San Antonio-class ship and first Flight II version of the ship. The company plans to start fabrication in 2020.

Artist rendering of LPD-30
(Image: Huntington Ingalls Industries)

“The LPD Flight II builds upon the significant investment that has been made in this platform to improve the capability and flexibility of our deployed Navy-Marine Corps team. LPD-30 will leverage a hot production line and further benefit from the investments we continue to make in our shipbuilders and facilities,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said in a statement.

Last August the Navy awarded Huntington Ingalls industries a $165.5 million contract to procure long-lead time materials and non-recurring engineering activities for LPD-30 (Defense Daily, Aug. 3, 2018)

Earlier last year, the Navy awarded HII as the winner for the amphibious transport dock replacement vessel, LX(R), to replace the 12 aging Whidbey Island/Harpers Ferry-class (LCD-41/49) amphibious ships (Defense Daily, April 12, 2018).

The company is set to build these new vessels as a Flight II version of the San Antonio-class ships. These vessels will have better troop armory/weapon stowage and can support embarking and landing Marines with equipment like the Textron [TXT] Ship-To-Shore Connector, Sikorsky [LMT] the CH-53K helicopter, and the Bell [TXT]-Boeing [BA] MV-22 Osprey.

The Navy’s FY 2020 budget request delayed buying more LPD Flight II ships as previously planned to balance paying for other capabilities. Referring to Virginia-class attack submarines (SSNs), “what we did there is that we have an SSN there in that year where the LPD was. We’re much further away from our war fighting requirement in SSNs than we are in amphibs, and so that was just a war funding priority.”

The service plans to buy the next LPD Flight II ship in FY 2021 and another in FY 2023. However, at the same conference Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said he would try to make the case to Congress to accelerate the buy of Flight II ships from FY ’21 to FY ’20 (Defense Daily, March 14).

This DD&C contract work will mostly occur in HII’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., and is expected to be finished by February 2025.

FY 2018 shipbuilding and conversion funding of $1.37 billion was obligated at award time and will not expire at the end of this fiscal year.

HII previously delivered 11 San Antonio-class LPDs to the Navy and is building two more: the future USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) will launch in 2020 before delivering in 2021 and the company plans to lay the keel for the future USS Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD-29) later this year.