Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] is in the process of forming an industrial coalition of companies involved in the construction and supply chain of Navy and Marine Corps amphibious warships, according to an industry source.

The Amphibious Warship Industrial Base Coalition will be modeled after similar organizations for submarines and aircraft carriers that have long been in place, and are geared to foment collaboration and increase communication about the needs of the services and their suppliers, the source said. The goal is to stand up the coalition and hold its first meeting within a year, the source said.

The USS New York (LPD-21) amphibious transport dock ship. Photo by Huntington Ingalls Industries

The decision to form the amphibious ship coalition came after Northrop Grumman [NOC] spun off its shipbuilding businesses, prompting the formation of Huntington Ingalls Industries in 2011 to take control of three main shipyards. HII is the prime contractor for amphibious warships at its Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., where San Antonio-class (LPD-17) amphibious transport dock ships are in full production.

The purpose of the coalition is to build relationships across the supply base, foster communication about the future of the amphibious shipbuilding business to facilitate planning within the industry, and to create more direct interaction between industry and the Navy and Marine Corps, the source said.

Like the Submarine Industrial Base Council, which formed in 1992, and Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition, born in 2004, the Amphibious Warship Industrial Base Coalition will have annual events featuring industry and military speakers. The forums will provide greater opportunity for suppliers to get direct feedback on their contributions to the fleet of amphibious ships, the source said.

In addition to Pascagoula, HII operates Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., where nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines are built, and a third yard in Avondale, La., that has also produced LPD-17s. HII, however, has ceased Navy shipbuilding operations in Avondale as part of consolidating but is considering converting it into a commercial enterprise.