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Ingalls building amphibious dock ship

PASCAGOULA, Miss., April 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has given Ingalls Shipbuilding a $1.5 billion contract to build the 10th San Antonio-Class Amphibious Transport Dock.

Construction of the build USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) is expected to begin next month

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Ingalls Shipbuilding is a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, a former business sector of Northrop Grumman Corp.

"This is the first contract awarded to our new company and our shipbuilders are excited about continuing the LPD product line," said Irwin F. Edenzon, corporate vice president and general manager, Gulf Coast Operations, Northrop. "More than 1,500 shipbuilders will be working on LPD 26 over the next four years and our focus will be on safety, quality, cost and schedule."

Ingalls Shipbuilding has delivered the first five ships of the San Antonio class, the LPDs 17-21. San Diego (LPD 22) will undergo sea trials this summer; Anchorage (LPD 23) will be christened May 14; Arlington (LPD 24) was christened March 26; and Somerset (LPD 25) is 40 percent complete and will be launched in 2012.

The 11 planned ships of the San Antonio class functionally replace more than 41 ships, providing the Navy and U.S. Marine Corps with modern, sea-based platforms.

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The ships are 684 feet long and 105 feet wide and displace approximately 25,000 tons. Their principal mission is to deploy the combat and support elements of Marine Expeditionary Units and Brigades.

The majority of work on the new ship will be performed in Pascagoula, Miss., and is expected to be completed by February 2016.

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