West Coast Ship Maintainer Takes Over Huntington Ingalls San Diego Shipyard

February 12, 2020 4:33 PM - Updated: February 13, 2020 9:37 PM
USS Essex (LHD-2) transits San Diego harbor on its way to participate in the Navy’s first full-length Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise on March 5, 2018. US Navy Photo

Titan Acquisition Holdings is taking over the Huntington Ingalls Industries-owned San Diego Shipyard, company officials announced Wednesday.

The HII Technical Solutions business segment had been running the California yard, which focused on performing maintenance and upgrades to U.S. Navy ships.

“Titan is a first-class organization with a strong reputation in the ship repair and sustainment market,” Andy Green, the president of Technical Solutions, said in a statement. “We believe this transaction will enable us to leverage complementary capabilities, capacity and facilities to improve efficiencies and better serve the needs of our U.S. Navy customer.”

Titan Acquisition Holdings is comprised of two ship maintenance and modernization firms: Vigor Industrial and MHI Holdings. Vigor operates several facilities in Washington and Alaska. The company is currently performing modernization work on Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Chosin (CG-65) and USS Cape St. George (CG-71). HII will have a minority stake in Titan.

“We are excited to add the San Diego Shipyard to our already strongly positioned and growing enterprise. The opportunity to add the San Diego Shipyard to our family of companies is a natural step in our evolution, given its strategic location and wealth of talented employees,” Jim Marcotuli, chief executive of Titan, said in a statement. “We look forward to sharing best practices and leveraging our collective assets to improve service to our valued customers.”

HII’s San Diego Shipyard is one of three main shipyards the Navy relies on to perform complex maintenance work, but the HII yard doesn’t have its own dry dock. With 45 ships homeported in San Diego, there is a steady demand for maintenance and upgrade work. Fleet-wide, the Navy had about 46 ships in CNO availabilities and was planning availabilities for about 100 more ships, as of last summer. However, only about 36 percent of the ships in maintenance returned to service on time last year, USNI News previously reported. The Navy is making a strong effort to boost that figure to more than 70 percent, surface navy leaders said last month.

HII executives are likely to provide some additional details of the deal on Thursday during a previously scheduled conference call with analysts to discuss the fourth quarter and 2019 financial results.

HII’s Technical Solutions business, while still committed to providing ship maintenance, repair and upgrade services to the Navy, also made a big play for the evolving unmanned underwater vehicle business.

Last week, HII’s Technical Solutions announced a $350 million deal acquiring Hydroid, the Massachusetts-based UUV maker, from Norway-based Kongsberg.

“The UUV space is a space that we believe is only going to grow in importance. In my personal view, it’s not going to be a replacement for anything, it’s going to be an augmentation to the Navy’s traditional missions and operations,” Mike Petters, chief executive of HII, told USNI News during an interview after the deal was announced.

Ben Werner

Ben Werner

Ben Werner is a staff writer for USNI News. He has worked as a freelance writer in Busan, South Korea, and as a staff writer covering education and publicly traded companies for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., Savannah Morning News in Savannah, Ga., and Baltimore Business Journal. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from New York University.

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