Navy awards HII $1.5 billion contract modification for LPD-31

By Mallory Shelbourne / April 3, 2020 at 6:04 PM

The Navy today announced it has awarded a $1.5 billion contract modification to Huntington Ingalls Industries for the LPD-31 amphibious transport dock ship.

The service anticipates HII finishing the work by February 2027, according to the contract notice.

Navy acquisition chief Hondo Geurts earlier this week claimed the Navy would speed up the award for LPD-31 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the service's fiscal year 2021 budget justification documents showed the Navy issuing the LPD-31 award in March 2020.

A Navy spokesman told Inside Defense that Geurts, in claiming to speed up the award, was citing an internal program timeline the spokesman declined to share.

"The original program plan was to award the ship in December 2020; that timeline was accelerated and was reflected in the [president's 2021 budget] submission," Capt. Danny Hernandez said in an April 2 statement.

"However, due to internal negotiations the plan moved to the right beyond March and was recently accelerated back to the left as Mr. Geurts highlighted," Hernandez added.

The service's FY-20 budget justification documents showed the Navy planning to award the LPD-31 contract in December 2020. But lawmakers in FY-20 authorized and appropriated funding for LPD-31 even though the Navy did not seek to buy it last year.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the Navy listed LPD-31 in the FY-21 request's battleforce ship count despite Congress providing funding and authorization in FY-20.