Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula will build six destroyers over the next five years for the U.S. Navy under a contract valued at more than $5 billion.
Ingalls also has been awarded a $48.5 million contract modification for repairs, restoration and modernization of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62). The Navy ship was brought to Pascagoula to be repaired after a collision with a container ship off the coast of Japan.
The Pascagoula shipyard, which is the biggest employer in Mississippi, will produce six Arleigh Burke-class DDG-51 Flight III destroyers, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told members of the Mississippi congressional delegation.
Under the multi-year, fixed price incentive contract, Ingalls will build two ships in Fiscal Year 2018 and one each in FY 2019 through 2022, with 91 percent of the work to be done in Pascagoula.
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The contract is worth $5,104,668,778. With an option, the value of the contract could rise to $5,253,076,779.
Over 30 years, Ingalls has built and delivered 30-Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, the company said. Ingalls has five others under construction in Pascagoula, including the first Flight III ship.
These destroyers are designed for peacetime and crisis situations and are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles with a variety of offensive and defensive weapons.
“This contract for six additional destroyers is significant not only for the men and women who will spend the next several years building and delivering these quality ships,” said Brian Cuccias, president of Ingalls Shipbuilding, “but also for the sailors who will operate these warships around the world ensuring there is peace back home.”
Ingalls recently held a job fair to fill some of the 500 positions expected to be added this year.
“Building ships through a long-term contract will stabilize production at the yards, support the supplier industrial base and save taxpayer money,” said U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker.
The contracts are the result of defense authorization and appropriations supported by Republicans Wicker, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and U.S. Rep. Stephen Palazzo, according to a press release.
Ingalls won the contract in a limited competition with Bath Iron Works in Maine. That company received a $3.9 billion contract to build four DDG 51 class ships.