Nassco/General Dynamics Corp. said May 27 that it received a $744 million contract from the U.S. Navy that will complete the funding for two new ships.
The deal includes an option for a third ship that would boost the contract value to $1.3 billion.
The news means that Nassco will lay off far fewer than the 350 employees announced in late March, company spokesman Jim Gill said June 1. In March, Nassco said it had about 3,600 employees.
The May 27 award followed an initial, $115 million contract award in August.
The new class of ship is called a mobile landing platform. At 765 feet, it will be longer than the 689-foot dry cargo and ammunition ships going together at the yard now. With a distinctive, low deck at its center, the mobile landing platform will serve as a logistics platform or a “pier at sea.” Designers envision the ship serving up to three 88-foot air-cushioned amphibious landing craft.
Nassco said it will begin construction of the first mobile landing platform ship immediately and deliver the craft in 2013. It will go into service in 2015, the Navy said.
Nassco laid the keel of its 14th and last Lewis and Clark-class cargo ship on May 10. It plans to deliver the ship in late 2012. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced plans May 18 to name the ship after labor leader Cesar Chavez.
— Brad Graves