January 18, 2008
Newport News to build LHA-6 forebody
The Hampton Roads, Va., Daily Press reports that Northrop Grumman's Newport News shipyard will produce four components of the LHA-6, the Navy's new generation of amphibious ships.
"Of 64 compartments assembled separately, the four units Newport News will produce comprise the forward 45 percent of the ship structure," reports the Daily Press. "Within this 'forebody' are compartments such as cargo holds, eating and sleeping spaces, storerooms, tanks and offices. A majority of the vessel's assembly will still take place at Northrop Grumman's Gulf Coast shipyards." Ship Systems remains the primary contractor on the project.
The newspaper reports that "part of the reason for shifting a portion of the project is to even out workloads between the Newport News and Gulf Coast yards. Since Hurricane Katrina, Northrop Grumman's two primary Gulf Coast shipyards have been overwhelmed with rebuilding and modernizing facilities while attempting to rehire and retain its yard workers displaced by the storm."
Plans for Newport News' participation in the LHA-6 program were in place before the announcement that Northrop Grumman planned to integrate Newport News with its Gulf coast yards into a single Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding business sector. The Daily Press says that "Northrop Grumman issued an online job posting for planners to help develop the LHA-6 class ship program in Newport News in December."