NEWPORT NEWS — Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. landed its first contract as a stand-alone company Friday, just a day after it officially spun out from defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp.
Huntington, Northrop's former shipbuilding arm, was awarded a $1.5 billion U.S. Navy contract to build the 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, which will be called the John P. Murtha (LPD 26). Construction is expected to start in May.
The new company, based in Newport News, is the nation's largest military shipbuilder, the nation's lone builder of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of two companies to build nuclear-powered submarines. Huntington officially separated from Northrop Grumman Thursday at 9:30 a.m. when the New York Stock Exchange bell rang and its stock began trading under the symbol HII.
The contract was awarded to the new company's Ingalls Shipbuilding division, based on the Gulf Coast, with construction expected to start in May.
Ingalls has delivered the first five ships of the San Antonio class. Of the four others, one was christened, another will be christened May 14, one will undergo sea trails this summer and one is 40 percent complete and will be launched in 2012.
The 11 planned ships functionally replace more than 41 ships, Huntington said.
They are 684 feet long, 105 feet wide and displace approximately 25,000 tons. They're designed to deploy the combat and support elements of Marine Expeditionary Units and Brigades. They can carry up to 800 troops and will support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions, Huntington said.
Huntington Ingalls employs about 38,000 workers, primarily at shipyards in Newport News and on the Gulf Coast. The enterprise also includes Virginia Beach-based AMSEC LLC, a marine engineering and design firm, and Continental Maritime of San Diego, a ship repair company.