JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Department of the Navy awarded a $2.4 billion contract modification to Ingalls Shipbuilding to construct LHA 9, a large-deck America-class amphibious assault ship.

Ingalls announced that with the LHA 9 contract modification, the total value of the award from the Department of the Navy comes to $3.2 billion.

“This is excellent news for both the fine shipbuilders at Ingalls and the future of our fleet, and most importantly our national security,” said U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). “Amphibious assault ships provide a critical capability to our Navy and Marines and, they are a vital deterrent against China. We will need to keep this momentum going as we work to expand our Navy and keep our country safe in the decades ahead.”

LHA 9’s large deck provides a substantial surface assault capability, allowing the ship to potentially host aircraft such as the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and MV-22 Osprey.