- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - Ingalls Shipbuilding says it has received a $200 million contract to start building an amphibious transport dock for the Navy.

The Mississippi Press reports (http://bit.ly/1XQVlf0 ) that the company made the announcement on Friday.

The contract is called an initial procurement contract and allows Ingalls to begin the process of purchasing long lead-time materials and major equipment for the LPD 28, the Navy’s 12th amphibious transport dock of the San Antonio class. The total construction contract will be announced at a later date.

With the new contract in hand, the company can start paying for main engines, diesel generators, deck equipment, shafting, propellers, valves and other systems.

The so-called omnibus bill passed by Congress last December included $1 billion for construction of LPD 28.

“This funding demonstrates the priority the Navy places on Ingalls getting started on this important ship,” said Ingalls President Brian Cuccias.

The San Antonio class is the latest addition to the Navy’s amphibious assault force. Each ship is 684 feet long and 105 feet wide and is used to transport Marines, equipment and supplies to and from land.

The ships also support helicopters and aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey.

The ships are used in a number of missions, including humanitarian and disaster relief tasks.

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Information from: The Mississippi Press, http://www.gulflive.com

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