Huntington Ingalls Aiming to Boost Sustainment Business with Unmanned Ships (by Jon Harper)

Huntington Ingalls Industries, the nation’s largest military shipbuilder, is gearing up to construct new robotic vessels for the Navy, but it also sees major business opportunities in sustaining the platforms, according to company officials.

The Navy’s most recent update to its long-term shipbuilding plan, released in June, envisioned as many as 140 unmanned surface vessels and unmanned underwater vehicles in its future inventory. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has estimated that as many as one-third of the Navy’s fleet could be robotic in coming decades.

Huntington Ingalls is already making large investments to beef up its infrastructure and know-how for building these types of platforms.

It has been aggressive in acquiring or investing in other companies with enabling capabilities such as Hydroid, Alion Science and Technology, and Sea Machines Robotics, noted Andy Green, HII executive vice president and president of its technical solutions division.