WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy awarded shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls a $165.5 million contract to procure long lead-time materials for the LPD-17 Flight II, according to a contract dated Aug. 2 and released Friday.

The amphibious transport dock, designated LPD-30, is the first of the 13-ship LPD-17 Flight II class that will replace the current dock landing ships. The program, which was until April known as LX(R), is expected to be built exclusively at HII’s yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

“This is a significant milestone as we embark toward a new flight of LPDs,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said in a statement. “The Flight II LPDs will be highly capable ships meeting the requirements and needs of our Navy-Marine Corps team. We look forward to delivering this series of affordable LPDs to our nation’s fleet of amphibious ships.”

The Navy is anticipating awarding a detailed design and construction contract either late in 2018 or early 2019. The Navy’s cost goal for the program is $1.64 billion for the first ship and $1.4 billion for each subsequent ship, according to the Congressional Research Service.

LPD-30 is going to come equipped with Raytheon’s Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar, an upgrade over the AN/SPS-48 currently on the LPD-17 class.

Ingalls has also moved out on fabrication for the future Richard M. McCool, named for a World War II-era Medal of Honor recipient, meaning it has cut the first 100 tons of steel, which will be the last of the Flight I LPD-17, according to a July 30 announcement from Naval Sea Systems Command.

“We are excited to commence fabrication on the 13th and final ship of the LPD 17 Flight I class,” said Capt. Brian Metcalf, LPD 17 program manager, in a statement. “We continue to benefit from the maturity of this program, and look forward to achieving future production milestones as we work to deliver this versatile and capable warship to the fleet.”

David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.

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