Northrop Grumman broke ground on a $64-million modernization project at its Ship Systems sector's Gulfport Operations, which will create the first large-scale advanced composite manufacturing facility to produce US Navy and Coast Guard ships. The modernization will dedicate $30 million to increasing capacity for composite construction, $19 million for ship construction and outfitting improvements, $8 million for additional support facilities, and $7 million to upgrade distributive systems.
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems is one of the leading designers of an all-composite Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) for the Navy. The company is bidding to become the sole manufacturer of this 21st century ship at its Gulfport Operations, which the company has designated its Composite Manufacturing Center of Excellence. Since becoming a part of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in 2001, Gulfport Operations has become one of the premier composite manufacturing operations in the U.S.A., contributing to such Ship Systems programs as the LPD, DD(X), USCG Deepwater, Composite Hi-Speed Vessel, and future surface combatants, as well as the LCS program. Gulfport is focusing on construction of the revolutionary Advanced Enclosed Mast/Sensor masts for the San Antonio (LPD 17)-class of amphibious transport dock ships. These masts are the largest composite structures ever installed on a US Navy ship.