Home » News & Analysis » Huntington Ingalls Awarded $3B Construction Contract for Amphib Bougainville


Huntington Ingalls Awarded $3B Construction Contract for Amphib Bougainville

HII rendering of the future USS Bougainville

The Navy awarded a $3-billion contract modification for the detail design and construction of LHA-8, the future amphibious assault ship Bougainville, to Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Last June the Navy awarded HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding a contract for the work on LHA-8, a new Flight I variant of the America-class LHA that reintroduces a welldeck for surface connector operations. When the contract was awarded then, the Navy released $272.5 million in funding for planning, advanced engineering, and procurement of long lead time material in support of the ship.

This most recent contract action, announced June 16, exercises the contract options for the detail design and construction portions of the work and releases $1.15 billion as a first increment of payment.

“Our shipbuilders do an outstanding job building large-deck amphibious warships,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said in a company news release.
“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.”

Ship construction is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018, and the ship should deliver in 2024, according to the HII news release. Tripoli (LHA-7) is under construction at Ingalls and is set for a ship christening on Sept. 16.

  • Ed L

    USS Bougainville. My Uncle used to have nightmares about Bougainville He got out of there with a Silver Star and a scar that ran from his shoulder to his hip. He was one of two from his squad that survive a suicide charge. Suffer from Survivor’s guilt for years. While in a drunken state, He says his life was saved by his 1911 and his buddy who loaded it. So he could shoot Japanese soldiers trying to get into their shelter. He remembers passing out then walking up on a hospital ship 2 weeks later.

    • Aj jordan

      Incredible story sir, and I thank your uncle for his service.

      • Ed L

        He, my Dad and my other 4 Uncles and a Cousin all served During WW2 and all saw combat. They all came home, but only talk to me and my other two cousins (we were all active duty) when they were in a state of Drink. Myself I hated the middle east, never saw a more violent place on my life. My two went to Afghanistan and came back whole, but with memories. They will not talk to there Mother about it but they do with me. I have learned to be friends with my memories. Told them what worked for me. Grandfather was in WW1, others were in the Civil War, revoluntary War. A long line

        • Aj jordan

          Quite rich military history in your family man and I thank all of you guys for the crap you had to go through…… I have a stepbrother , and cousin currently serving and 2 uncles who fought in Nam, one who was in Gulf War 1 , and my oldest uncle who fought in Korea all made it back and like in your case only talked to me about maybe once or twice while they were chilled and layed back on liquor…. …

          • muzzleloader

            It seems to vary with the individual. One of my uncles was a B-24 ball turret gunner in the 8th Air Force with several kills. Shot down twice, the second time he spent the rest of the war in Stalag 13. He did not like to discuss it. My other uncle fought in the Pacific on the whole island hopping campaign. He would tell stories and show souvenirs and scrapbook pictures you would never see in the news reels of the time, graphic photos of after combat type. To him it was a job to get done at the time so he could go home. But then,that is what that whole generation of heroes did. Win the war and get on with thier lives.

        • Rocco

          Agreed I hated the middle East as well.

    • Rocco

      Kudos!⚓️

    • DaSaint

      America’s Greatest Generation. We owe them so much. I thank him, other survivors, and his fallen brethren for their service.

    • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

      A chilling tale, thank you for sharing it.

  • DaSaint

    Great news. But why does this need to take 6 years to delivery? There is no reason this couldn’t be put on a 4 year build schedule.

    • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

      My guess is because the USS Tripoli still has some construction years to go.

    • Niki Ptt

      It’s a lead-boat in her class, and American shipyards have a tendency to start building a ship with only 5 to 10% of the design actually done. Mostly when we build the first boat of a class, the delays could find their basis up in the design office.

      • DaSaint

        Except that LHA-6 America is the lead ship of the class. This variant just reintroduces the well deck.

        • Niki Ptt

          “This variant just reintroduces the well deck.”.
          Clearly you never worked in a shipyard design office. “Just” reintroducing a well deck is like making an entire new boat, both on the structure and general arrangement side.
          Oneday my boss asked me why it took so much time to make the detailed design of a sister-ship to an existing design. I just took a fluo and overlined on a GA all the differences between his two sister-ships. The plans were covered in pink. Basically, we had to redesign the entire electrical and pipe works, and a large part of the structure, for what he called “a few minor changes” (bow thruster, enlarged CIC, reinforced helideck, “slightly” different engines, etc…).
          So LHA-8 is, shipyard-side speaking, the lead ship of her own class.

          • DaSaint

            I get your point. I’ve never worked in a shipyard design office, but have worked as an Architect, so I fully understand. That said, I am still surprised considering they are the design yard for the preceding classes of LHA and LHD which had well-decks. So I get that the ‘America class’ was a medication from the previous Wasp, I just thought that it wouldn’t take a total of 6 years to build and deliver.

            Something has happened in our shipyards, and it’s not their fault. They have to keep the workforce employed to keep the skillsets, so programs are dragged out to ensure that. It’s not that it TAKES 6 years to build, but to preserve workforce for the next contract(s), it behooves them to do so, until there is contract certainty and therefore the ability to proceed accordingly. Would you agree?

          • Niki Ptt

            Absolutely. We have the same problem in France. Just to keep its design office running, the former state-owned shipyard DCNS always sells small series of warships to the French Marine Nationale before shifitng to a new design. Of course, the Marine Nationale is not happy with this, as it means higher and more frequent R&D costs and higher unit cost, resulting in fewer ships for them in the end. But an intense lobbying from DCNS keeps things that way, exactly like in the US…

          • Dave_TX

            Ask your Congressman why it takes 6 years instead of 4.

          • DaSaint

            So you want me to ask my local congressman why it takes 6 years to build an LHA instead of 4? Do you expect a local congressman to know what an LHA is?? Really?

          • Dave_TX

            Congress sets the funding schedule that drags out the production of systems. Beyond that, Congress also forces systems on the DoD that aren’t wanted, needed, or appropriate going forward because there are political advantages for doing so. So yes, your representative may not have a clue about what an LHA is but that doesn’t stop them from voting on funding one way or the other. Our representatives can’t be experts in everything, but, generally speaking, they want to get re-elected and are happy to take money from lobbyists, as well as get business from a defense project located in their district whether or not the system is worth spending money on. Stretching projects makes the budget look better in a given year even as doing so increases the cost of the system. Doing so also stretches the business out over extra years which is perceived as being a good thing by the communities that host elements of the project.

          • Secundius

            If there getting RICH of the Product, I would suspect the Answer would be YES. Why Outfit a Ship, is you DON’T know its Function…

          • Rocco

            Lol tell him to Google it!!

          • Rocco

            Agreed good piece!! The island looks hideous though!! I hope it doesn’t go that way!!

  • Uncle Mike

    Great name.

  • @USS_Fallujah

    Bougainville is a fine name. It’s no Fallujah….but it’s the best we can get in the current atmosphere. I would like to see more ships named after battle fought by Sailors and Marines who are still with us.

    • Uncle Mike

      Good point. But it took a few years before we could get a USS Inchon, Chosin, or Hue City. We may need to be patient.
      In the meantime, let’s be thankful that Chancellorsville, as a Confederate victory, hasn’t become offensive or triggering (yet).

  • Secundius

    Is the Photo “Bushed”?/! Seem’s like the USS Bougainville looks SLEEKER, not BOXY like HER Sister Ships…