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NEWS
Company To Establish Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence
September 28, 2020

Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE: HII), the nation’s largest military shipbuilding company, has announced the company will establish an Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence to be located on the Hampton Roads Center – North Campus in Hampton, Virginia. Two buildings totaling over 150,000 square feet will be constructed on the 20-acre campus and will be purpose-built for unmanned systems prototyping, production and testing. According to the announcement, the first 22,000-square-foot building will be completed by the end of this year. The main 135,000 square-foot-facility is planned to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021.

For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division supports national security missions around the globe with unmanned systems, nuclear and environmental services, defense and federal solutions, and fleet sustainment. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs more than 42,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.

“We are very excited to build this state-of-the-art facility and believe this added capability will truly enhance our ability to perform current and future work, and allow us to remain on the forefront of advanced manufacturing technology,” said HII President and CEO Mike Petters. “We are appreciative of the great partnerships we have with the Commonwealth, Governor Northam, and our local officials as we move forward in constructing this new facility.”

In response to the announcement, Governor Ralph S. Northam stated, “Virginia is proud to be home to the largest military shipbuilder in the country. Huntington Ingalls Industries is a national leader in advanced manufacturing, and this investment is a powerful testament to Virginia’s workers and business environment. The company’s new unmanned systems facility in Hampton will support America’s national security and play a key role in strengthening our economic recovery as we continue working to rebound from this health crisis.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the City of Hampton and the Hampton Roads Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $1.5 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Hampton with the project. The Governor also approved a performance-based grant of $1.5 million from the Virginia Investment Performance program, an incentive that encourages capital investment by existing Virginia companies. Huntington Ingalls Industries is eligible to receive funding from the Transportation Partnership Opportunity Fund, administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Support for Huntington Ingalls Industries’ job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System, with funding support from the Northam administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.


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