DECEMBER 2005

VT Halter Marine awarded $28.8 million contract
PASCAGOULA, Miss. - VT Halter Marine Inc. has been awarded a $28.8 million contract to
develop a design of a fast missile craft for Egypt. The second phase of this program will
include production design work and construction of up to three vessels. The program
value could grow to more than $450 million after Phase II is added to the contract. Egypt
entered into agreements with the United States to buy the fast missile craft as a foreign
military sale, a program through which eligible foreign governments buy defense articles,
services, and training. The vessel will be designed for coastal patrol, surveillance,
interdiction, surface strike and naval battle group support for the 21st century. (
Source:
Sun Herald, 12/01/05)

NOVEMBER 2005

Northrop Grumman gets achievement award
ORLANDO, Fla. - Northrop Grumman has been awarded the 2005 Defense Manufacturing
Technology (ManTech) Achievement Award by the U. S. Office of Naval Research for
work on the next generation destroyer program, DD(X). The award was presented to
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems' DD(X) ManTech project team at the Defense
Manufacturing Conference. The award was presented for perfecting a composite-to-steel
joint development. The ship features an all-composite deckhouse joined to a steel hull.
The revolutionary adhesive technology designed for the DD(X) significantly improves
performance and increases survivability while reducing in-service maintenance expense.
The joint is 40 percent lighter in weight and 50 percent less expensive to produce than
existing configurations. The DD(X) ManTech project team includes employees of Northrop
Grumman Ship Systems; General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works; the Composite
Manufacturing Technology Center of Excellence, South Carolina Research Authority;
Pennsylvania State University's Applied Research Lab; The Boeing Company; and the
Edison Welding Institute. (
Source: Northrop Grumman release, 11/30/05)

Pentagon gives thumbs up on DD(X)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Pentagon has given the thumbs up to begin production of the
multibillion-dollar next generation destroyer, the DD(X). Kenneth Kreig, undersecretary of
defense for acquisition, on Wednesday signed the destroyer acquisition memorandum,
the last hurdle to proceed with production, according to Sen. Trent Lott. The memo allows
for the detailed design of the DD(X), procurement of material for construction and
approval a low initial production of eight ships. The signing ends speculation that the ship
was in jeopardy of being killed by a Navy leaning in recent years toward smaller, less
expensive ships. The first ship will cost more than $3 billion, but the price will drop as
more are built. DD(X) uses composite materials and is designed to be stealthy. It has a
new weapons and propulsion system and will operate with less crew. DD(X) ships will be
built in Pascagoula by Northrop Grumman and in Bath, Maine, by General Dynamics.
Technology derived from the DD(X) will be applied to all classes of surface combat
vessels in coming decades. (
Source: Sun Herald, 11/24/05)

Austal USA opens doors on new facility
MOBILE, Ala. – Austal USA opened the doors to its cavernous shed on the Mobile River
on Thursday, marking completion of the facility in which the company will build a $223
million Navy warship. Austal, jointly owned by Australia-based Austal Ltd. and Mobile's
Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co. Inc., is the shipbuilder for Falls Church, Va.-based
General Dynamics Corp., which has a contract to build a version of the Navy's new Littoral
Combat Ship, or LCS. Construction on the LCS is expected to take about two years and
will create up to 600 jobs with a top wage rate of about $18.50 per hour, according to
Austal USA Chief Executive Officer Greg Metcalf. The new shed is part of a $25 million
expansion to accommodate the Navy contract. The expansion was aided by $5 million
from the state, and $2.5 million each from the city and county, as well as a $6 million loan
from General Dynamics, according to the company. The new shed quadruples Austal's
Mobile manufacturing facilities. It is roughly 120 feet high, 260 feet wide and 400 feet
deep with two bays to allow side-by-side ship construction. In about five years, Austal's U.
S. operations in Mobile will surpass the capacity of Austal's operations in Australia. The
General Dynamics/Austal version is an aluminum, trimaran-styled hull design. (
Source:
Mobile Register, 11/19/05)

Labor shortage forces Bollinger from contract
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Post-hurricane labor shortages have prompted Bollinger Shipyards
to walk away from two contracts worth $850 million. Bollinger put the brakes on a $700
million contract to build a series of petroleum product tankers and a $150 million deal to
build offshore work boats, said Michael Ellis, the company's executive vice president and
chief operating officer. He said both deals could be revived in the future when labor
conditions become favorable again. The tanker contract was signed before Katrina
ravaged southeastern Louisiana, where Bollinger's main shipyards are located, and
forced the evacuation of much of the company's 2,500 workers. The company has
openings for 400 workers at its 13 Gulf Coast shipyards. (
Source: Times Picayune,
11/12/05)

Experimental ship returns to Mobile
MOBILE, Ala. - An experimental Navy ship has returned to its birthplace at Austal USA's
shipyard near downtown Mobile, where it will dock for about three weeks until it can be
moved back upriver. The high-speed catamaran is owned by Sarasota, Fla.-based
American Marine Holdings Government Services LLC and was built by Austal to
demonstrate the ship's design for the U.S. Office of Naval Research. The ship was
christened Oct. 1, 2004, and launched two days later, according to Austal. Mobile-based
C&G Boatworks Inc. has been performing modifications on the ship since its launch,
according to American Marine's president, Mike Collins. The 102-foot-long ship, called the
SeaCoaster, uses air pressure in cavities in the hull to give the ship lift, increasing its
speed and allowing it to navigate shallow waters, Collins said. The Office of Naval
Research heads up science and technology projects for the Navy and Marines. If
American Marine wins a contract to build such ships for the Navy, some of that work could
come to Mobile, Collins said. But a contract could be a long time coming -- the ship hasn't
made it to sea trials yet, according to Collins. (
Source: Mobile Register, 11/08/05)

Southern gets grant for ship work
BATON ROUGE, La. - A $1.5 million grant from the Navy will help Southern University's
College of Engineering find ways to build naval fleets with smaller, more efficient
machinery, the school announced this week. The grant will enable the college, working
with other partners, to boost the effectiveness of the pressurized water reactors used to
fabricate ships. The project will involve complex alloys and micro manufacturing,
according to a press release. Mechanical engineering department Chairman Samuel
Ibekwe said he’s grateful for the grant, which will make it possible to partner with the
Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices and the Louisiana State University
mechanical engineering department. (
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate, 11/08/05)

Austal gets payment for commercial contract
MOBILE, Ala. – Mobile-based Austal USA has received its first payment for its largest
commercial contract, the Hawaii Superferry, now under construction in its Mobile River
shipyard. The contract is worth about $161 million for two of the ships. Austal had
previously been working on the ferry without payment and generated a net loss of about
$1 million for the previous fiscal year as reported by its Australia-based parent company,
Austal Ltd. Austal had said it continued work on the ship without a check in hand because
it gave Austal an opportunity to increase hiring in preparation for building a warship for
the Navy. On Oct. 14, the U.S. Navy awarded the $223 million construction contract for
the littoral combat ship that will be built in Mobile. The contract was awarded to Falls
Church, Va.-based General Dynamics Corp., the prime defense contractor that has
teamed with Austal. The company employs 360 people in Mobile and will eventually reach
600, with a top wage rate of about $18.50 per hour. Most of those employees will be
needed to build the LCS for the Navy, said Bill Pfister, Austal USA’s vice president of
government programs. Austal Ltd. of Western Australia owns 70 percent of the U.S.
company, and Mobile's Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co. Inc. owns 30 percent. (
Source:
Mobile Register, 11/01/05)

OCTOBER 2005

Northrop Grumman awarded $53 million DD(X) contract
PASCAGOULA, Miss. - Northrop Grumman Ship System's Ingalls Operations was awarded
a $53 million contract for the next phase of the DD(X). Sen. Trent Lott said the funding
signals the Navy's commitment to move forward with the program rather than delay it by
forcing Northrop Grumman and Bath Iron Works to compete for the right to build the
ships. The futuristic DD(X) is a vast departure from the current Navy fleet. It relies heavily
on new technologies, including new weaponry, improved communications and more
stealth through the heavy use of composites. Earlier this year, some with the Department
of Defense suggested a recompetition of DD(X) as a short-term cost reduction strategy.
Those opposed to that approach said it would wind up costing more in the long-run.
(
Source: Biloxi Sun Herald, 10/03/05)

Contract awarded for work on historic Navy buildings
PENSACOLA, Fla. - Ellis Environmental Group LC of Newberry, Fla., was awarded $5.8
million construction contract for repairs to several historic buildings damaged by Hurricane
Ivan at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Work will be performed in Pensacola and is expected
to be completed by March 2006. The basic contract was competitively procured as a one-
phase repair/replace solicitation via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website with 28 proposals
received and award made to multiple contractors on Jan. 27, 2005. The total contract
amount is not to exceed $350 million for the base period and two option years. The Naval
Facilities Engineering Command, Southern Division, North Charleston, S.C., is the
contracting activity. (
Source: DefenseLink, 10/03/05)

SEPTEMBER 2005

Trinity Yachts buys second yard in Gulfport
GULFPORT, Miss. – Mega-yacht builder Trinity Yachts has purchased a second shipyard
in Gulfport, which will allow it to expand both the quantity and size of the custom vessels it
builds. It will mean up to 500 shipbuilding jobs. The new site is on Seaway Road in the
former VT Halter Marine shipyard. It will double the company’s capacity. The New Orleans
yard, meanwhile, will be the center of an expanded repair and refit operation. The
Gulfport shipyard has more than nine acres of covered building area on 50 acres. The
New Orleans yard has 10 acres of covered buildings on 38 acres. Trinity can now create
up to 10 mega-yachts annually with a length of 400 feet and up to five decks. Trinity
Yachts LLC is a privately held corporation specializing in custom yachts of aluminum or
steel up to 400 feet. (
Source: Sun Herald, 09/29/05)

United States Marine moves from New Orleans to Gulfport
GULFPORT, Miss. – A New Orleans military boat builder, flooded out of its operation in
the Crescent City, has moved to Gulfport so it can quickly return to operations. United
States Marine Inc., which primarily works with military customers, including special
operations, expects to have 115 workers by the time it's done hiring. United States Marine
will operate out of three buildings off Lorraine Road that have a combined 80,000 square
feet of production space. USMI had 56,000 square feet in New Orleans. It also has 8,000
square feet of office space. Of five buildings it used in New Orleans, the two main
buildings were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29. Three other buildings may be
usable, said Barry Dreyfus Jr., CEO of USMI. He said the company hopes to reuse those
facilities. But the decision was made to move to Gulfport because of how quickly the
company could restart operations. It plans to be operational in 30 days. Dreyfus said that
once they have better access to the New Orleans facilities, the company will look at
relocating a company division there. (
Source: Sun Herald, 09/28/05)

Northrop Grumman back at work
GULFPORT, Miss. – Three weeks after Hurricane Katrina damaged Northrop's state-of-
the-art composites fabrication facility, production got back on track this week. Northrop
Grumman Ship Systems' Gulfport Operation, with 250 employees and 80 contract
workers, has been transformed over the years from steel fabrication to composites.
Workers spent the past few weeks on cleanup and recovery of the facility, which over the
past few years has undergone a $64 million upgrade. The company's Pascagoula and
New Orleans operations returned to production work earlier. Workers are again producing
the composite masts of the amphibious transport dock ships LPD 20 and LPD 21, along
with the composite high-speed vessel test article being built for the Office of Naval
Research. The Gulfport operation is a key part of the company's future shipbuilding
efforts. It's the nation's first large-scale composite shipbuilding operation, company
officials have said. In mid-2006, the Gulfport yard will begin production on a 140-foot,
composite-hulled fast response cutter for the Coast Guard. The Integrated Coast Guard
Systems ship will be the first vessel fully built and launched at the facility since 1996. The
number of employees in Gulfport will grow to more than 800 by 2008 under the contracts
now in place. But Northrop expects more, including the possibility of having to retrofit the
Navy's fleet with other composite parts. Northrop Grumman Ship Systems officials say that
under an optimum set of contracts, the employee count in Gulfport could be "upwards of
1,500 personnel." (
Source: Sun Herald, 09/23/05)

Bender hiring more workers
MOBILE, Ala. – Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co. Inc. plans to hire 450 new workers, 200
of them in Mobile, to build three tug barges worth $232.5 million for Maritrans Inc. Each
articulated tug barge unit, a type of powerful 12,000-horsepower workboat, will be worth
$77.5 million and able to carry 335,000 barrels of liquid petroleum products. The tugs will
be built at Bender's shipyard on the Mobile River, and most of the barge construction will
be subcontracted to Bender's sister company, Tampa Bay Shipbuilding & Repair Co.,
according to Bender spokesman Frank Terrell Jr. The first unit should be delivered in
October 2007, and the others will follow in May and December 2008, according to
Maritrans, a Tampa-based marine petroleum transportation company. (
Source: Mobile
Register, 09/08/05)

Hard-hit VT Halter expects to call back workers soon
PASCAGOULA, Miss. — Boyd E. "Butch" King expected the worst when he surveyed VT
Halter Marine's shipyards right after the storm. He knew water had covered some
buildings. But when the shipyard's CEO went out the day after Hurricane Katrina hit and
saw a partially-built barge still on its blocks, he knew the company could recover. VT
Halter Marine found work for 350 employees. King expects to start calling back hundreds
of contract workers during the next few weeks. Ship production will restart the last week of
September and will gradually increase. The hurricane hit at a busy time. At least seven
vessels were in various construction stages, and the company was backlogged before the
storm hit. King said 2 percent of his workers lost everything. Pascagoula-based VT Halter
Marine, a subsidiary of Vision Technologies Systems Inc., designs, builds and repairs
oceangoing vessels. It has operations in Pascagoula, Moss Point and Escatawpa. Vision
Technologies Systems, based in Alexandria, Va., specializes in aerospace, electronic,
land and marine systems. It's a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Technologies
Engineering. (
Source: Sun Herald, 09/08/05)

Gulf Coast shipyards assess Katrina damage
Gulf Coast shipyards in the path of Hurricane Katrina suffered a variety of damage and
disruptions and are in various stages of returning to production. The largest shipbuilder,
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, with yards in Pascagoula, Gulfport, New Orleans and
Tallulah, builds 70 percent of the Navy's surface ships and is a key builder for the Coast
Guard's Deepwater program. All its facilities sustained damage – the yard in New Orleans
had the least flooding – but workers have been recalled to repair facilities and begin
production work again. The Tallulah facility was not expected to reopen until Sept. 19.
Two other shipbuilders with operations in Mississippi were inundated by surge waters. VT
Halter Marine's facilities in Pascagoula, Moss Point and Escatawpa build landing ships for
the Army and small vessels for foreign customers. All its yards were flooded and
sustained some damage, but corporate owner Singapore Technologies has already
committed to rebuild. Workers have been recalled to help repair facilities. Signal
International, located not far from VT Halter, is also performing repairs and has brought
some people back to work. In Louisiana, Bollinger Shipyards operates in more than a
dozen locations, including Lockport near New Orleans. The company reports it did not
sustain significant damage, and has already reopened the hardest hit facilities in Harvey,
Gretna and Algiers. In Mobile, Austal USA's expanding yard escaped any serious damage.
It’s slated to begin construction next month of the first General Dynamics-designed LCS.
(
Source: Defense News, company information, Associated Press, Biloxi Sun Herald,
09/05-16/05)

AUGUST 2005

Naval base gets reprieve
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Three months after a naval base in New Orleans was proposed for
the chopping block, a presidential-appointed panel voted Wednesday to take the century-
old Naval Support Activity off the Pentagon's latest list of recommended base closings and
turn it into a "federal city" that will house military and perhaps homeland security offices.
The installation, which straddles the Mississippi River and employs 4,600 civilian and
military workers, was slated to be shut down, but the Base Realignment and Closure
Commission opted for the new mission, provided the state can fund and begin building the
new facility by Sept. 30, 2008. (
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate, 08/25/05)

Austal reports big profit
MOBILE, Ala. – Australian shipbuilder Austal Ltd. reported a 77 percent jump in annual
profit Tuesday, despite a loss from its American subsidiary, Mobile-based Austal USA. But
Austal USA continues to add employees as it ramps up for work on a major Navy contract,
and the company's Australian executives predict the Mobile operation will be profitable
next year. Austal USA is a joint venture between Austal Ltd. of Western Australia, which
owns 70 percent, and Mobile's Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co. Inc., which owns 30
percent. Austal USA lost money due to a delay in payment on the Hawaii Superferry high-
speed catamaran now under construction in its Mobile River shipyard. Greg Metcalf, chief
executive officer of Austal USA, said the building the catamaran gives the company an
opportunity to increase hiring in preparation for building a littoral combat ship for the U.S.
Navy. In a partnership with General Dynamics Corp., Austal USA holds a $78.8 million
design contract for the LCS. Austal USA is in the midst of a $25 million expansion at its
downtown shipyard. About 325 people work for the company in Mobile. (
Source: Mobile
Register, 08/17/05)

Northrop Grumman to cut hundreds of jobs at two yards
PASCAGOULA, Miss. – Northrop Grumman Ship Systems will cut 500 jobs from its
shipyard in Pascagoula and 400 from another yard in New Orleans by the end of the year.
The company, which had said in January that cuts were coming over the next two years,
blames it on the smaller number of ships the Navy plans to buy. The first layoffs occurred
shortly after the January announcement when about 120 positions in Louisiana and
Mississippi were eliminated. A hiring freeze has been in place at the yards for several
months. Workers affected by the layoffs will be notified from now until the end of October.
(
Sources: New Orleans Times Picayune, Biloxi Sun Herald, 08/16/05)

Former VT Halter headquarters sold to yacht dealership
GULFPORT, Miss. - The former headquarters of VT Halter has been sold to a yacht
dealership that plans to use it for a repair yard. Gulf Coast Hatteras of Orange Beach,
Ala., a dealer for New Bern, N.C.-based Hatteras Yachts, will convert the site to a boat
yard where it will do repair and warranty work. The price was not disclosed. The 73-acre
property in Gulfport became available in 2004 when VT Halter consolidated its operations
in Moss Point and Pascagoula. Boyd E. "Butch" King, CEO of VT Halter Marine, said that
when VT Systems purchased Halter its vision was to shift from building smaller barges and
vessels to large and medium-sized ships. The two Gulfport locations, with a water depth of
12 feet, were too small. Selling the Gulfport property to Gulf Coast Hatteras means an
opportunity to put those sites back into service, said King. VT Halter in 2003 sold its
Lockport, La., operation and earlier this year sold a site in Port Bienville. Edison Chouest
of Galliano, La., had expressed interest in buying another VT Halter property in Gulfport,
along Seaway. But the company changed its mind. While King will entertain any offers for
the property, he is considering the possibility of VT Halter using at least a part of it.
"Business is picking up and I may go back down there and do some work in either steel
cutting or fabrication," he said. (
Source: The Sun Herald, 08/11/05)

Prichard maritime company apparently closed
PRICHARD, Ala. - A Prichard maritime company has been served with a $1.4 million
federal tax lien and has apparently ceased operations after it failed to resurrect its
business during 18 months of bankruptcy protection. World Wide Marine Services Inc.,
which reported 20 employees in a 2003 Mobile Register survey of the local maritime
industry, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2003. In late April of this
year, World Wide's bankruptcy case was dismissed after the company said it was unable
to generate enough business to stay afloat, according to documents filed with the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Alabama. Losing bankruptcy protection puts
a business or individual at the mercy of creditors. (
Source: Mobile Register, 08/11/05)

JULY 2005

Austal plans administrative building
MOBILE, Ala. - Austal USA officials have said they plan to build an administrative building
at their Blakeley Island shipyard on the east bank of the Mobile River, replacing the
trailers that house the chief executive and other offices. The new 21,000-square-foot
building is expected to cost more than $2 million, and local contractors will likely do the
work, according to Bill Pfister, vice president of government programs for Austal USA. The
company hopes to have the building completed by Christmas, Pfister said. The human
resources department will stay in the current facility as it ramps up to accommodate hiring
associated with the construction of a new ship for the U.S. Navy, he added. Austal now
has 300 employees, about 200 of them added within the last year, Pfister said. Austal
holds a $78.8 million contract to design a littoral combat ship for the U.S. Navy. In
anticipation of building the ship, Austal is undergoing a $25 million expansion, including a
new shed with two bays to allow side-by-side ship construction. Austal USA is a joint
venture between Austal Ltd. of Western Australia, which owns 70 percent, and Mobile's
Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co. Inc., which owns 30 percent. The Mobile facility has
built eight ships since it opened in 2001. (
Source: Mobile Register, 07/01/05)

JUNE 2005

Navy pondering more lightweight combat ships
MOBILE, Ala. - Navy officials are floating the idea of buying additional lightweight combat
ships, which could be good news for the Mobile shipyard that has a design contract for
one version of the new vessels. John Young, a Navy acquisition executive, has been
quoted in recent weeks by a number of publications as saying that he would like to see
the service purchase six of the first group of Littoral Combat Ships, up from original plans
for four. Vern Clark, chief of naval operations, has hinted that the total number of LCS
purchases over the next 12 years could be closer to 100 than the original plan for 60
ships. Because the Navy signaled an increased demand, "we have a little more comfort
that the ship is going to be approved as we proceed along through the Congress," said
Bill Pfister, vice president of government programs for Austal USA. Austal, which has a
$78.8 million design contract, is the shipbuilder for the LCS proposed by Falls Church, Va.
-based General Dynamics Corp. Defense contractors General Dynamics and Bethesda,
Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp. head teams that emerged from a Navy competition with
winning designs for the ships. At about $220 million each, the LCS is considerably less
costly than the DD(X), which costs $3 billion. Austal USA is a joint venture between Austal
Ltd. of Western Australia, which owns 70 percent, and Mobile's Bender Shipbuilding &
Repair Co. Inc., which owns 30 percent. The Mobile facility has built eight ships since it
opened in 2001. (
Source: Mobile Register, 06/19/05)

C&G to add up to 100 jobs
MOBILE, Ala. - C&G Boat Works Inc. has announced it will add up to 100 jobs as it spends
$1.5 million to expand its facility to accommodate several new shipbuilding contracts. The
Mobile-based company operates a 170-employee shipyard about one mile north of
Bankhead Tunnel. C&G has orders for three 155-foot aluminum crew boats, costing more
than $4 million each, to be used to carry fuel, water, cargo and passengers to oil rigs in
the Gulf of Mexico. The purchaser, an oil and gas company, does not want to be named.
The new jobs, including carpenters, welders and shipfitters, will pay between $12 and $16
per hour. (
Source: Mobile Register, 06/14/05)

VT Halter Marine signs new contract
PASCAGOULA, Miss. – VT Halter Marine Inc. has signed a $16.3 million contract to build
a catamaran lift barge for a dam-building project in Illinois. The catamaran lift barge is
being built for Washington Group International and its joint venture partner, Alberici
Group. VT Halter will build two 200-foot units that will be assembled to form the barge. It
will be fitted with special lift equipment that will be used to transport and place precast
concrete segments in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Olmsted Dam construction
project near Olmsted, Ill., on the Ohio River. Engineering and procurement will begin
immediately with delivery in 2006. VT Halter Marine is a subsidiary of Vision Technologies
Systems Inc. (
Source: Sun Herald, 06/22/05)

United States Marine awarded patrol boat contract
NEW ORLEANS, La. - United States Marine Inc. was awarded an $18.8 million firm-fixed-
price contract for construction of three 89-foot long Fast Patrol Boats, with technical data,
training, and spare parts for the Royal Oman Police Coast Guard under the Foreign
Military Sales Program. The FPB will be constructed of fiberglass reinforced plastic and
conform to American Bureau of Shipping high-speed naval craft requirements. The
primary mission of the FPB is to perform ROPCG operations within waters to include law
enforcement, and local patrol operations. Each $6 million vessel will be capable of
reaching 58 miles per hour and will carry a host of weapons as large as a 20 mm cannon.
Work will be performed in New Orleans and Pass Christian, Miss., and is expected to be
completed by May 2007. The contract will create 15 to 20 jobs, mostly at the Pass
Christian yard, where the vessels will be outfitted. The Naval Sea Systems Command,
Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. (
Source: DefenseLink, 06/10/05; New
Orleans Times Picayune, 06/11/05)

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems getting leadership change
PASCAGOULA, Miss. - Philip Dur will step down July 1 as head of Northrop Grumman Ship
Systems and plans to retire from the huge defense contractor at the end of the year. The
company’s board chose Philip Teel, an executive with the defense contractor's electronics
warfare division, as Dur’s replacement. The departure of Dur, who turns 61 this month,
comes at a time when the military shipbuilding sector is facing tough times. The largest
customer, the Navy, is buying fewer big-ticket warships. Dur has been an outspoken critic
of a system where the Navy’s purchase plans change from year to year. (
Source:
Multiple, 06/04/05)

MAY 2005

Navy planning Panhandle exercise
PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The Navy is planning an exercise off the Florida Panhandle to test
the abilities of air, surface and subsurface forces designed to find and destroy mines. The
Panama City Naval Support Activity will host five mine warfare ships and four helicopters,
all from Ingleside, Texas, for the June 2-10 exercise in the Gulf of Mexico. The Panama
City base conducts mine warfare research and development and has hosted similar
exercises in the past. (
Source: The Associated Press, 05/24/05)

NAS Pensacola comes out on short end of stick
PENSACOLA, Fla. – Naval Station Pensacola came out on the short end of the stick with
the proposed base closure and realignment list released by the Pentagon. It’s scheduled
to lose the Naval Education and Training Command, which the Pentagon wants to place in
Tennessee. It’s also slated to lose the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory to
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. But the loss of the lab will be made up by the
addition of a different research unit, the Undersea Medical Institute, which is now in New
London, Conn. (
Source: Multiple, 05/14/05)

Naval Station Pascagoula gets the axe
PASCAGOULA, Miss. – South Mississippi will say goodbye to Naval Station Pascagoula
under the proposed list of bases targeted for closing or realignment. But that was
expected, and local development officials have been gearing up for that possibility by
finding alternative uses for the base. Pascagoula was one of the final remaining homeport
bases developed in the late 80s when the nation envisioned a 600-ship Navy. The
Pentagon also plans to close the Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant at Stennis Space
Center. But that’s something that makes economic development officials happy. The
facility hasn’t been a munitions plant since the late 80s, and has been an industrial park
for the commercial sector since 1993. The closing is simply the last step with the military
relinquishing any right to turn it in the future into a munitions plant. The facility will become
NASA property again. (
Source: Multiple, 05/14/05)

Naval Support Activity in Algiers targeted to close
NEW ORLEANS, La. – The proposed base closing and realignment list calls for the
closing of the Naval Support Activity in Algiers, on the west bank of the Mississippi in New
Orleans. Some economic development officials have been talking about turning it into an
industrial park, or perhaps another site for cruise ships. The latest list also calls for some
changes in Baton Rouge, but on the positive side. The state’s capital will be gaining with
the building of an Armed Forces Reserve Center at the airport. (
Source: Multiple,
05/14/05)

Austal USA expansion on schedule
MOBILE, Ala. - Austal USA's $20 million expansion project is progressing on schedule at
its Blakeley Island shipyard on the east bank of the Mobile River. Austal is quadrupling the
size of its manufacturing facility in anticipation of landing part of a Department of Defense
contract to build high-speed combat ships for the Navy. The shipbuilder, a joint venture
between Austal Ltd. of Perth, Australia, and Mobile's Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co., is
pushing to complete construction of a twin-bay manufacturing shed by Oct. 1, when it
expects to receive formal approval to build a pair of test versions of the littoral combat
ship. Austal is part of a team led by General Dynamics Corp. competing against a team
led by Raytheon Corp. to build the ships. The shipbuilder employs 210 workers in Mobile
in the production of aluminum passenger ferries. Austal in February received $2.5 million
from Mobile to help pay for the expansion. The incentives are contingent on Austal hiring
600 workers. (
Source: Mobile Register, 05/01/05)

APRIL 2005

Dur makes pitch to change incentives
BILOXI, Miss. - For Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, proposed changes in incentives are
key to the company converting an underused yard into a park for suppliers. Philip Dur,
president of the Pascagoula-based operation, was among audience members who put in
a pitch for the changes during Tuesday's rally for Momentum Mississippi. Momentum
Mississippi leaders are traveling statewide to muster support for changes in the state's
incentives. The Legislature failed to act on the changes during the regular session, but
they will come up again during a special session. "It's crucial to our state's future," said
Anthony Topazi, CEO of Mississippi Power who's heading up Momentum Mississippi. "It will
give us a better chance to compete for jobs and economic growth." Topazi said the
incentives now offered in the state do not apply to the high-growth, high-wage, technology-
oriented companies that states are now pursuing. (
Source: Sun Herald, 04/27/05)

Tenix adds more workers
BILOXI, Miss. - A company that specializes in airborne charting of the floor of coastal
waters has gone from three to 15 workers and is on track for more. Tenix LADS held a
ribbon-cutting marking the opening of its U.S. headquarters and operations center. Tenix
LADS is the U.S. subsidiary of Australia's Tenix LADS Corp., part of the Tenix Group, a
defense and engineering company. LADS stands for laser airborne depth sounder, used
to remotely survey shallow coastal waters. In 2003 the National Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Administration awarded a three-year laser surveying contract worth up to
$12 million to Tenix and its subcontractors. Tenix in May 2002 set up operations with one
business manager and two hydrographic surveyors. It now has 15 employees, primarily
transplants from Australia. In the United States, Tenix LADS operates one aircraft, a de
Havilland Dash-8 twin-prop, based at the AvCenter in Gulfport. (
Source: The Sun Herald,
04/26/05)

Signal International signs contract for “flotel”
PASCAGOULA, Miss. - Signal International signed a $22 million contract with ETESCO
Millenium Partners LLC to convert a semi-submersible floating drilling rig to a 272-bed
"flotel." The work will be performed at Signal’s East Bank yard. The conversion is
scheduled to last for about one year. About 300 workers will be added to Signal's
Mississippi operation, company officials said, bringing Signal's total employment to about
800 employees in the coming weeks. A flotel is a semi-submersible rig with the drilling
equipment removed and converted to accommodations and quarter for rig workers. It
includes entertainment facilities and shops for the workers. Following its conversion, the
flotel will be moved to Brazil where it will be under a four-year contract to Petrobras,
Brazil's national oil company. (
Source: Mississippi Press, 04/21/05)

Silver Ships to add jobs
THEODORE, Ala. - Silver Ships Inc. plans to add between 10 and 20 jobs, with average
annual salaries of $32,000, by the end of the year for additional work upgrading aluminum
boats for the U.S. Army. The company, which builds and refurbishes aluminum vessels, is
"out of space for bodies" and should finish construction on a 20,000-square-foot building
in November, according to Jason Powers, the company's general manager. The new
building is an $850,000 investment that comes after Silver Ships won the Army work
indirectly - it's a subcontractor for United Kingdom-based FBM Babcock Marine Ltd. FBM
Babcock Marine originally built the boats, which were used to build bridges in Iraq,
according to Powers. Silver Ships seeks a tax abatement from Mobile County as part of
the expansion project. It employs 35 people full time, including five new employees. Five
more workers will be hired when the building is complete. More jobs would follow if Silver
Ships receives additional contracts. (
Source: Mobile Register, 04/14/05)

Senate wants to bar “winner-take-all” in DD(X)
WASHINGTON - In a move aimed at protecting jobs at shipyards in Maine and
Pascagoula, the Senate is seeking to bar the Navy from using a winner-take-all approach
toward construction of the next generation DD(X) destroyer. In its version of an $81 billion
emergency defense spending bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee this month said
officials could not use any money "to prepare for, conduct, or implement" such a strategy.
The House version of the bill does not have that language, meaning a joint "conference
committee" will decide whether to include the ban in the legislation's final version.
Northrop Grumman is already the lead contractor on design work for the DD(X), which is
supposed to go into full production in about two years. The Navy had planned to split the
work between Bath and Ingalls. But as the Pentagon has steadily reduced the number of
ships to be built, Navy officials argue that the winner-take-all approach would be cheaper.
(
Source: Mobile Register, 04/12/05)

MARCH 2005

United States Marine awarded contract
NEW ORLEANS, La. - United States Marine Inc. of New Orleans, La., is being awarded a
$10.7 million firm fixed priced contract for five Naval Special Warfare Rigid Inflatable Boats
detachments. The work will be performed in New Orleans and is expected to be completed
by May 19, 2006. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Each
detachment shall consist of two craft, two trailers, two trucks, one lot of Detachment
Deployment Package parts, personal crew outfitting items and support documentation.
Three lots of Shore-Based Spares will also be delivered to support the Egyptian Navy
under this USSOCOM PEO Naval Systems contract. (
Source: DefenseLink, 03/21/05)

Caucus urges Bush to stick with splitting work on DD(X)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Saying that a plan to reopen bidding for construction of a new Navy
destroyer could result in thousands of layoffs and threaten the country's shipbuilding
capacity, the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus urged President Bush to stick with a
current plan that would split the work between shipyards in Mississippi and Maine. Forty-
three members of Congress signed a letter condemning the Navy's plan to reopen bidding
on the DD(X). The Navy now has both Northrop Grumman's Ingalls Shipyard in
Pascagoula and Bath Iron Works in Maine contracted to build the ships, with Northrop
building the first three and Bath Iron Works building two. Under the Navy's new plan,
designed to cut costs, the two shipyards would compete for the work. The caucus warned
that the losing offer would likely exit the surface combatant market. (
Source: Times-
Picayune, 03/18/05)

Northrop Grumman exec wants more predictability in shipbuilding
WASHINGTON - The chief of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Tuesday urged more
predictability in the military's forecasts of its ship construction needs. "If I don't know what
I'm building and when I'm building it, it's very hard for me to make a business case to my
investors," Philip Dur told reporters at a National Press Club briefing in advance of an
upcoming industry exposition. Dur declined to comment on the recent revelation that the
Navy is considering a "winner-take-all" competition between the Ingalls in Pascagoula and
Bath Iron Works in Maine to build the next generation of destroyers known as the DD(X).
The Bush administration had previously planned to split the work between the two yards.
To bolster shipbuilding performance, the company is focusing on an initiative designed to
reduce overhead, realign management and overhaul the supply chain. (
Source: Mobile
Register, 03/16/05)

Navy seriously underestimated cost of ships
WASHINGTON - The Navy seriously underestimated the cost of building ships at Northrop
Grumman Corp.'s Avondale shipyard and other facilities, according to a new report by the
General Accountability Office. The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, said some of
the worst cost overruns involved the LPD 17 amphibious assault ships at Avondale. The
first vessel was initially budgeted at $954 million but likely will have a final price tag of
about $1.76 billion. The second vessel, the LPD 18, was budgeted at $762 million and is
likely to cost $1.01 billion, according to the GAO. A major cause was changes in the
design for the LPD 17, even after construction began. The report also said high worker
attrition, as high as 35 percent annually, led to construction delays that added costs.
(
Source: Times-Picayune, 03/16/05)

Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics awarded contract
PASCAGOULA, Miss. - Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics have been awarded a
$200 million contract for additional support work on the Aegis destroyers. The contract will
be shared by Northrop's Ingalls operation and General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works of
Bath, Maine, the only two companies specializing in design and construction of DDG-51
Aegis destroyers. The contract represents the final inspection by contractors of
destroyers less than a year old and about to join the fleet. It's akin to the final dealer prep
of a new car. (
Source: Sun Herald, 03/11/05)

Austal wins Alabama’s manufacturer of year
MOBILE, Ala. - Austal USA has received an Alabama "Manufacturer of the Year" award in
the medium category. The award is designed to recognize Alabama manufacturers that
exhibit excellence in leadership, performance, profitability and work force relations. Austal
was named Manufacturer of the Year for a category for businesses with 100-299
employees. Austal's Blakeley Island shipyard, on the eastern bank of the Mobile River,
employs 210 workers in the production of high-speed aluminum ferries and other marine
transport vessels. Austal last month was named "Manufacturer of the Year" by the Mobile
Area Chamber of Commerce. (
Source: Mobile Register, 03/10/05)

Edison Chouest may buy old Halter Marine property
GULFPORT, Miss. - Edison Chouest Offshore hopes to exercise an option within two
weeks to buy the old Halter Marine property. The company plans to open a subsidiary,
North American Gulfport, which would build offshore service vessels for ECO. The
company plans a $40 million investment in the property and would hire up to 450
employees over three years. In Gulfport, the company would build vessels from 280 to
350 feet long. ECO was founded in 1960 in Galliano, La. Two subsidiaries, North
American Shipbuilding and North American Fabricators, both headquartered in Louisiana,
also build offshore vessels for ECO and affiliated companies. ECO owns and operates the
vessels for oil companies and other clients, and boasts the world's largest independently
owned fleet of seismic and research vessels. (
Source: Sun Herald, 03/08/05)

FEBRUARY 2005

Ribbon-cutting held on new Rolls-Royce center
PASCAGOULA, Miss. – A ribbon-cutting was held Wednesday for the Rolls-Royce
Propeller Center of Excellence. It was the second big event in South Mississippi in as
many weeks involving Rolls-Royce. The company last week said it would use Stennis
Space Center as its test facility for huge jet engines used in Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
James Guyette, president and CEO of Rolls-Royce North America, said there are "quite a
number of products and services that we're involved in here in Mississippi, perhaps
somewhat indirectly. But I think you're finding our futures really are coming together here
in quite an unusual way." The 18,000-square-foot building produces propellers for the
Navy and provides jobs for about 25 people. (
Source: Sun Herald, 02/24/05)

Navy may opt for winner-take-all in DD(X) competition
PASCAGOULA, Miss. - The Navy may opt to have one company build all the next
generation of Navy destroyers, rather than splitting the work between two yards. Phil Dur,
president of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, said there's only the hint that may be the
case, and nothing official has come down. Dur said that because of the lower number of
DD(X)s the Navy plans to purchase, there won't be enough to split between Northrop
Grumman and Bath Iron Works in Maine. "Now we're in a real tough contest for the whole
enchilada," said Dur, who said it's not cause for alarm but instead a time for the company
to tighten up its arguments for why Northrop Grumman can do the best job. Dur made the
comments during a talk at the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce breakfast in
Pascagoula Tuesday. (
Source: The Sun Herald, 02/23/05)

Bollinger to build two more double-hull ocean barges
NEW ORLEANS, La – Bollinger Shipyards Inc. will build two more double-hull, ocean-going
barges at its south Louisiana shipyards for a New York barge operator. The first barge,
measuring 399 feet and capable of carrying 80,000 barrels of oil, is scheduled to be
delivered in November to Bouchard Coastwise Management Corp. of Hicksville, N.Y. The
second barge, measuring 430 feet and with a capacity of 110,000 barrels, is set to be
delivered in October 2006. Bollinger, based in Lockport, operates two double-hull barge
construction yards: Bollinger Gretna in Jefferson Parish and Bollinger Marine Fabricators
in Amelia. A shipyard spokesman said managers haven't decided where the Bouchard
barges will be constructed. (
Source: Times-Picayune, 02/16/05)

Supplier park plan sparks interest
JACKSON, Miss. - A host of defense companies were here Friday to express interest in a
Northrop Grumman proposal to turn its under-utilized East Bank in Pascagoula into a 130-
acre industrial park for suppliers. Companies that showed up included Raytheon, General
Electric and Rolls Royce. The plan, still in the exploratory stage according to Northrop
Grumman Ship Systems President Phil Dur, would create up to 2,000 high-paying jobs.
The state's role would include issuing revenue bonds, which the companies would pay
back. The plan is for Northrop to lease the property to the state for $1 a year, and the
state in turn would sublet it to these supplier companies under long-term agreements. The
Dallas-based national real estate firm The Staubach Co. is handling the planning. The
Legislature this year is expected to authorize a final installment of $56 million in bonds to
help Northrop Grumman expand its Pascagoula and Gulfport shipyards. (
Source: The
Sun Herald, 02/12/05)

Northrop Grumman awarded  LPD contract
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Northrop Grumman Ship Systems is being awarded a $26.9 million
contract for LPD 17 Class Amphibious Transport DockShip Program Life-Cycle
Engineering and Support services. It includes post delivery planning and engineering,
homeport technical support, Class Integrated Product Data Environment, data
maintenance and equipment management, systems integration and engineering support,
research engineering, obsolescence management, material readiness team operations,
emergent repair provisions, and training and logistics support. Work will be performed at
Pascagoula and New Orleans and is expected to be completed by September 2005.
(
Source: DefenseLink, 02/11/05)

JANUARY 2005

Harrison Brothers wins Coast Guard contracts
MOBILE, Ala. - Harrison Brothers Drydock & Repair Yard Inc. won U.S. Coast Guard
contracts valued at up to $425,000, said shipyard owner Bill Harrison III. The U.S.
Department of Homeland Security awarded a $147,150 contract for scheduled
maintenance of the Coast Guard cutter Wedge. Harrison said his family-run shipyard also
has a contract to drydock the Coast Guard cutter Hatchet. Both repair jobs will take place
at Harrison's shipyard along the Mobile River at Blakeley Island. (
Source: Mobile
Register, 01/29/05)

VT Halter Marine to build NOAA ship
PASCAGOULA, Miss. - VT Halter Marine will build its third fisheries survey vessel for the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, now that NOAA has exercised an
option under an existing contract. Valued at $38 million, the ship will be constructed
beginning later this year and delivered the second half of 2007. There’s also an option for
a fourth ship. The 208-foot NOAA ships can perform hydro-acoustic surveys of fish and
can conduct bottom and mid-water trawls while running physical and biological-
oceanographic sampling in a single deployment. (
Source: The Sun Herald, 01/27/05)

C&G Boat Works wins contract for aluminum boat
MOBILE, Ala. - C&G Boat Works Inc. has won a $3.52 million contract with the Navy to
build an aluminum boat. The Navy will use the 95-foot-long boat to retrieve dummy
torpedoes during training missions. Construction should begin this summer at the 12-acre
shipyard on the Mobile River. The 160-employee shipyard is about one mile east of
Bankhead Tunnel and fronts 650 feet of water. The contract was awarded by the Naval
Sea Systems Command's Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport, Wash. (
Source:
Mobile Register, 01/25/05)

Austal USA breaks ground on expansion
MOBILE, Ala. – Austal USA has broken ground on its $25 million expansion in preparation
for building at least two warships at its Blakeley Island shipyard. If Congress approves
funding, the ship construction would create 600 new jobs at Austal. The company is the
shipbuilder for one of two teams completing rival designs on a littoral combat ship, or LCS,
designed to fight along enemy shorelines. The expansion will nearly quadruple Austal’s
capacity. The state, city and county have been asked to provide $10 million in public
money for the expansion. The expansion should be finished by the end of September,
about the same time design work wraps up on the first LCS to be built at Austal. The
Austal team, led by General Dynamics, has a $78.8 million contract to design an LCS
prototype. The competing team is led by Lockheed Martin, which is building its first LCS at
Wisconsin's Marinette Marine. Plans are to build the second ship at Louisiana's Bollinger
Shipyards. Austal USA is part of Austal Ltd. of Western Australia. The parent company
owns 70 percent of Austal USA, and Mobile's Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co. Inc. owns
30 percent. (
Source: Mobile Register, 01/18/05)

Blanco christens dry dock
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Gov. Kathleen Blanco has christened a dry dock in eastern New
Orleans that represents a $10 million investment by the state to ensure that future growth
by Bollinger Shipyards Inc. occurs in Louisiana. The state provided money in exchange
for 500 jobs to be created by the company in 2005. The Port of New Orleans owns the dry
dock and is leasing the structure to Bollinger for $1 per year for 99 years. In a second
phase of the economic development incentive package, the Lockport-based shipbuilder
promised to build a new shipyard in Louisiana and employ 1,750 to work on new contracts
from the U.S. military in exchange for an additional $19.85 million from taxpayers. But that
portion of the package was put on hold after the Navy slowed its plans to build stealth
coastal combat vessels and catamaran troop transporters. Bollinger will use the dry dock
to repair oceangoing tugboats and offshore supply vessels and to convert single-hull tank
barges to double-hull vessels. (
Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 01/12/05)