PASCAGOULA, Miss., April 9, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- The seventh ship in the USS WASP Class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships, IWO JIMA (LHD 7), was successfully delivered on schedule to the U.S. Navy by Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), during a ceremony on April 6 at the shipyard. All seven ships were built and delivered on schedule by Ingalls Shipbuilding. The LHD 7 is the last conventional steam propulsion ship to enter the Navy Fleet.
The shipyard/government team received praise from the Prospective Commanding Officer of LHD 7, Capt. John T. Nawrocki, USN, as well as Capt. Philip Johnson, USN, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, Pascagoula.
"I believe the delivery of IWO JIMA represents the finest cooperative effort undertaken to date by the government and industry team," said Captain Nawrocki. "For example, the construction of this ship includes more engineering changes (upgrades) than any previous LHD."
Captain Nawrocki said the spirit of cooperation that has existed for the past year and a half will continue throughout the warranty period. "With a cooperative effort, I believe we are accepting the best LHD to date," he said.
"You have delivered another great ship, the last of the great steamers. But your capital improvements, your new affiliation to Northrop Grumman and your experience with gas turbine surface combatants places you in a strategic position for the development of the next line of large deck amphibious ships," Captain Johnson stated.
"Congratulations to Captain Nawrocki and his fine crew on achieving this milestone," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Dave Wright. "As always, this was a total team effort between our shipyard, the Navy's Program Management Office, SupShip, Pascagoula and the IWO JIMA crew. Now, the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps team will receive another excellent vessel with an Ingalls Shipbuilding quality stamp."
IWO JIMA will be commissioned June 30 at Pensacola, Fla., before sailing to her homeport in Norfolk, Va.
Congress has provided $856 million for advance procurement, detail design and advance construction of one additional ship, LHD 8. Included in the LHD 8 design will be new gas turbine propulsion, electric auxiliaries, and a number of other improvements to reduce manning and life-cycle costs, and to improve war fighting capability.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $15 billion, global aerospace and defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in defense and commercial electronics, systems integration, information technology and non-nuclear shipbuilding and systems. With 80,000 employees and operations in 44 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
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