Navy selects Ingalls Shipbuilding to build LX(R)

By Lee Hudson  / April 9, 2018

The Navy late last week quietly announced it has selected Ingalls Shipbuilding to build the dock landing ship replacement beginning with LPD-30.

Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, pitched its San Antonio-class Flight II to fulfill the Navy's LX(R) requirement.

"As the designer, builder, and life-cycle engineering and support provider of the entire San Antonio Class Flight I, HII is the only source with requisite knowledge and experience required to construct the lead ship of the San Antonio Class Flight II and provide the required [life cycle engineering and support]," according to an April 6 presolicitation notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

The LX(R) competition dates back to 2016 with Ingalls and General Dynamics NASSCO vying to be the shipbuilder.

"Pursuing an alternate source through competition would result in significant duplication of costs and unacceptable delays due to the loss of design expertise and production efficiencies achieved on the previous 13 ships that cannot be recovered on the first planned ship of Flight II," according to the notice. "No other vendor possesses the requisite facilities and qualified cadre of engineers, designers, and a construction workforce that can design, plan, construct, test, and deliver current and future amphibious ships."

A Huntington Ingalls spokesman said in a statement to Inside the Navy: "The Navy's announced intent to award a sole-source contract to build LPD 30 as the first ship in San Antonio Flight II class allows Ingalls to continue its strong legacy of building amphibious warships for the Navy. By utilizing the hot production line and strong vendor base established by the first 13 ships of the class, we will build LPD-30 and follow flight II ships at the best value and highest quality for the Navy."

Inside Defense reported in July 2016 Ingalls Shipbuilding was awarded three times the numbers of hours for LX(R) design work compared to General Dynamics NASSCO.

The option in the Ingalls Shipbuilding portion of the design contract is up to 129,500 hours for engineering support and NASSCO's is up to 43,250 hours, Naval Sea Systems Command spokeswoman Christianne Witten wrote in a July 2016 statement to Inside Defense.

On June 30, 2016, the Navy awarded contracts to Ingalls and NASSCO for LX(R) design. Ingalls was awarded funds for detail design and construction of the LHA-8 while NASSCO was awarded monies for the fleet oiler replacement. LX(R) contract design is planned to be complete by the end of fiscal year 2017, according to Witten.