Work is expected to begin next year at Ingalls Shipbuilding, which has been awarded a $3 billion contract for the detail design and construction of amphibious assault ship Bougainville (LHA 8).
The name commemorates the Bougainville Campaign in World War II that lasted from 1943-44, and Allied forces secured a strategic airfield from Japan in the northern Solomon Islands, helping break the Japanese stronghold in the South Pacific.
Ingalls was awarded the original long-lead material contract for the third ship in the America (LHA 6) class in June 2016.
The work will keep the Pascagoula shipyard busy for years. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018 and delivery is expected in 2024.
Tripoli (LHA 7), the second of the America-class amphibious assault ships, is under construction at Ingalls and was launched on May 1. The ship will be christened on Sept. 16, the company said.
“We look forward to incorporating 50 years of amphibious shipbuilding knowledge into the Navy’s newest assault ship and providing the sailors and Marines a complex and highly capable product to perform their missions of freedom,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias.
Ingalls is the sole builder of large-deck amphibious ships for the Navy. The shipyard delivered its the Iwo Jima-class USS Tripoli in 1966, and has since built five Tarawa-class ships, eight Wasp-class ships and the first in a new class of ships called America.