PASCAGOULA, Miss., Feb. 13, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Navy today exercised a $93.8 million contract modification option to Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) for detail design and the procurement of long-lead-time material on the LHA 6 amphibious assault ship program.
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This is the first option exercised on the initial contract, awarded in July 2005. With this option, the total contract value has increased to $203.7 million. If all options are exercised, the contract has the potential to reach $264 million.
"This modification solidifies important funding Northrop Grumman needs to begin critical detail design work on the U.S. Navy's next amphibious assault ship," said Philip A. Teel, president of Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems sector. "The incremental modification allows us to both purchase long-lead material and transition from systems engineering to detail design efforts. We look forward to developing engineering and design products that support future construction of this ship."
The advance procurement LHA 6 construction-related contract was awarded last summer, with funds earmarked for major equipment and material such as propellers, reduction gears, five 500-ton air conditioning units and electrical switching equipment, as well as for advanced planning and systems engineering. This new award also supports additional material acquisition, but predominately provides funding and authorization for LHA 6's detail design.
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 as well as potentially playing a key role in the Maritime Prepositioning Force Future. As the Navy's Seabasing plan matures in the next few years, the flexibility to operate with the expeditionary strike group and as part of the Maritime Prepositioning Force Future will make the LHA 6 a vital part of the Sea Base.
Northrop Grumman delivered five USS Tarawa-class (LHA 1) and seven USS Wasp-class (LHD 1) ships to the Navy, with an eighth, Makin Island (LHD 8), currently under construction. The LHA 6 Class will be a variant of the gas-turbine powered LHD 8 and will launch tilt-rotor helicopters and fixed-wing, short take-off vertical landing aircraft in support of amphibious operations.
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems includes primary operations in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss.; and in New Orleans and Tallulah, La., as well as in a network of fleet support offices in the U.S. and Japan. Ship Systems is one of the nation's leading full-service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction and life-cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies.