Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) said Monday it has completed the first phase of its Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence with the construction of a 22,000-square-foot facility.
The first of two planned buildings on the 20-acre campus in Hampton, Va. will be used to assemble hull structures for Boeing's Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV) program for the U.S. Navy.
"We are thrilled to reach this critical milestone with the development of our Center of Excellence campus," said Andy Green, executive vice president of HII and president of HII's Technical Solutions division. "Opening this initial facility immediately expands our unmanned systems capability and helps support the increasing needs of our customers who defend our national security."
Construction began in September 2020, following a ground-breaking event with special guests, including Gov. Ralph Northam and other state and local government officials.
Structural development of the main facility, a 135,000-square-foot building, is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2021. The purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility will be used for unmanned systems prototyping, production and testing.
"HII has made significant investments in the unmanned systems industry during the last year, including this Center of Excellence," said Duane Fotheringham, president of Technical Solutions' Unmanned Systems business group. "This facility solidifies HII's commitment to advancing development of unmanned systems for our current and future customers."
HII partnered with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the city of Hampton and the Hampton Roads Alliance to secure the project. More than 250 high quality jobs will be created to support unmanned systems design and production at the facility. Employees began working in the first building on Dec. 28, 2020.