Litton Unit Loses Ship Contract

Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Pentagon awarded a $641-million contract to a group led by Avondale Industries Inc. to begin building a new class of amphibious ships. The group defeated a rival team led by Ingalls Shipbuilding, a unit of Woodland Hills-based Litton Industries Inc. The Navy eventually wants 12 of the new vessels--which are designed to ferry troops ashore in amphibious assault missions--for a purchase price exceeding $9 billion. The Avondale team includes Los Angeles-based Hughes Electronics Corp., which will integrate the ships' electronic and weapons systems. Litton said it was disappointed but that it remains confident about the future of Ingalls, which also builds Navy destroyers.

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