The US Navy has awarded a $272m contract to Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division for the construction of a new large-deck landing helicopter assault (LHA 8) warship.
The contract includes options, which if exercised will bring the total value of the contract to $3.1bn.
Under the contract, HII will support the planning, advanced engineering and procurement of long-lead material involved in the construction of the amphibious assault warship.
Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said: "This award adds to the successful amphibious shipbuilding legacy at Ingalls since the 1950s.
"Our shipbuilders have proven this success by delivering 14 vital and capable large-deck warships to our nation's amphibious fleet.
"This contract shows the navy's confidence in our ability to build these ships to the highest-quality standards and to do so affordably for the American taxpayers."
HII is currently the sole builder of large-deck amphibious ships for the navy.
In 1966, the shipyard delivered its first amphibious assault ship, the Iwo Jima-class USS Tripoli (LPH 10), and since then it has constructed five Tarawa-class (LHA 1) ships, eight Wasp-class (LHD 1) ships, and the first in a new class of amphibious assault ships, America (LHA 6), in 2014.
Construction of the second amphibious assault ship, Tripoli (LHA 7), is currently underway and is slated to be launched next year.
Recently, HII was awarded a $152m advance planning contract to construct the Gerald R Ford class nuclear powered aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN 80) for the US Navy.
Image: A rendering of the future LHA 8. Photo: courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.