Ingalls Expands Shipyard Facility Docking New U.S. Navy Destroyer

Destroyer docking at Ingalls Shipbuilding's reactived east bank facility - Photo by Derek Fountain/HII

Published Jun 5, 2020 3:34 PM by The Maritime Executive

Ingalls Shipbuilding expanded its operations in Pascagoula, Mississippi with the reactivation of its facility on the east bank of the Pascagoula River. The area had been decimated when Hurricane Katrina struck the area in August 2005. Over the past 15 years, the shipyard has been run from its facilities on the west bank of the river.

The newly reactivated, 187-acre east bank facility features covered construction areas to improve safety and optimize ship assembly, expansive storage facilities and a fully restored pier where ships will dock upon returning from sea trials.   

Ingalls, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, marked the reopening of the facility with the arrival of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer Delbert D. Black, which docked at Pier Four on the east bank. Transferred to the US Navy at the end of April 2020, it is the 32 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Ingalls has delivered to the Navy. The Black will remain on the east bank until the ship’s scheduled sail-away date later this year. The shipyard currently has four additional DDGs under construction.

“This restoration and modernization project demonstrates our commitment to continuously enhancing our shipbuilding facilities to increase capability and ensure future growth,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. “We are proud to see more of our workforce, and our customers, moving back into the heart of the city of Pascagoula.”

The east bank location is site of the original Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp. founded in 1938. Ingalls had announced plans in April 2018 to reactivate its east bank facilities as part of the company’s modernization efforts. The primary components of the project included the addition of large, covered construction areas for construction of ship assemblies and components as well as the restoration of an outfitting pier.

The project included clearing and recycling more than 100,000 tons of concrete, which was used to construct a road base on the east bank, as well as installation of LED technology interior and exterior lighting.

Ingalls said that many historical features from original east bank facilities were salvaged and incorporated into new structures on the property, including all of the bricks from a 1930s guard house as well as a concrete slab into which Robert Ingalls Sr., founder of Ingalls Shipbuilding, carved his initials.

“In reopening the east bank, we celebrate the 80-plus year legacy of those Ingalls shipbuilders who came before us, and look forward to continuing Ingalls’ legacy of building the finest ships in the world for decades to come,” Cuccias said.