our history


On March 31, 2011, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) formed as an independently, publicly traded company when two legacy shipyards joined forces to become the nation’s largest shipbuilder. Since then, HII’s portfolio expanded further with the establishment of a third division that delivers all-domain technology solutions to civil, commercial, and defense customers both domestically and internationally.
Today HII is a global, all-domain defense provider with a more than $45B shipbuilding backlog and more than 43,000 employees. It is the largest industrial employer in both Virginia, where the company is headquartered, and in Mississippi. The company’s name derives from the founders of its shipbuilding divisions: Collis Potter Huntington, who founded Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, and Robert Ingersoll Ingalls Sr., who established Ingalls Shipbuilding.

Since 1886, the ships built at Newport News Shipbuilding, like the American Shipbuilders who built them, have served our nation in peace and war, in times of adversity and times of abundance. HII’s legacy of “Always Good Ships” includes the design, construction, overhaul and repair of hundreds of ships for the U.S. Navy and commercial customers.

Today, NNS, a division of HII, is the nation’s sole designer, builder and refueler of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of only two shipyards capable of designing and building nuclear-powered submarines, leveraging our unique expertise in nuclear propulsion, naval design and manufacturing. NNS provides fleet services for our ships worldwide.


In 1938, Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation was founded by Robert Ingersoll Ingalls Sr. (1882–1951), on the East Bank of the Pascagoula River in Mississippi. It started out building commercial ships until the 1950s, when Ingalls started bidding on Navy work.

Today, Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of HII, has pioneered the development and production of technologically advanced, highly capable warships for the surface Navy fleet, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, and foreign and commercial customers.

Mission Technologies was founded in 2016 as HII’s third division. Mission Technologies develops integrated solutions that enable today’s connected, all-domain force. Capabilities include C5ISR systems and operations; the application of AI and machine learning to battlefield decisions; defensive and offensive cyberspace strategies and EW; unmanned autonomous systems; LVC solutions; fleet modernization; and critical nuclear operations. HII’s Mission Technologies division is headquartered in McLean with more than 100 facilities across the globe.
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Industrialist Collis P. Huntington (1821–1900) provided crucial funding to complete the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad (C&O) from Richmond, Virginia to the Ohio River in the early 1870s. Although originally built for general commerce, this C&O rail link to the midwest was soon also being used to transport bituminous coal from the previously isolated coalfields, adjacent to the New River and the Kanawha River in West Virginia.
The Peninsula Extension of the C&O was built from Richmond down the Virginia Peninsula to reach a new coal pier on Hampton Roads in Warwick County near the small unincorporated community of Newport News Point. However, building the railroad and coal pier was only the first part of Huntington’s dreams for Newport News.
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Huntington built a shipyard to repair ships servicing this transportation hub. Newport News Shipbuilding is founded as the Chesapeake Dry Dock and Construction Co.
Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company delivered its first ship, the tugboat Dorothy.
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Newport News became an independent city
NNS had built three warships for the US Navy: USS Nashville, Wilmington and Helena.
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The revolutionary HMS Dreadnought launched a great naval race worldwide
President Theodore Roosevelt sent the Great White Fleet on its round-the-world voyage. NNS had built seven of its 16 battleships.
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NNS built SS Medina for the Mallory Steamship Company; as MV Doulos she was until 2009 the world’s oldest active ocean-faring passenger ship.
Just northwest of the shipyard, Hilton Village, one of the first planned communities in the country, was built by the federal government to house shipyard workers. The planners met with the wives of shipyard workers. Based on their input 14 house plans were designed for the projected 500 English-village-style homes.
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Between 1918 and 1920, NNS delivered 25 destroyers, and after the war it began building aircraft carriers.
After the war, Henry Huntington acquired it from the government, and helped facilitate the sale of the homes to shipyard employees and other local residents. Three streets there were named after Post, Hopkins, and Ferguson.
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Virtually a new ship emerged from NNS in 1923, and SS Leviathan became the flagship of United States Lines.
Between 1907 and 1923, Newport News built six of the US Navy’s total of 22 dreadnoughts – USS Delaware, Texas, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Maryland and West Virginia. All but the first were in active service in World War II.
NNS launched the world’s first significant turbo-electric ocean liner: Panama Pacific Line’s 17,833 GRT SS California, the largest merchant ship yet built in the United States
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NNS launched California’s sister ships Virginia
NNS launched California’s sister ships Pennsylvania
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NNS followed them by launching two even larger turbo-electric liners for Dollar Steamship Company: the 21,936 GRT SS President Hoover in 1930, followed by her sister President Coolidge in 1931
NNS launched California’s sister ships Pennsylvania
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Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation was founded by Robert Ingersoll Ingalls Sr. (1882–1951) of Birmingham, Alabama, on the East Bank of the Pascagoula River in Mississippi. Ingalls was located where the Pascagoula River runs into the Gulf of Mexico.
SS America was launched in 1939 and entered service with United States lines shortly before World War II but soon returned to the shipyard for conversion to a troopship, USS West Point.
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The Navy had ordered a battleship, seven more aircraft carriers and four cruisers. During World War II, NNS built ships as part of the U.S. Government’s Emergency Shipbuilding Program, and swiftly filled requests for “Liberty ships” that were needed during the war.
NNS founded the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, an emergency yard on the banks of the Cape Fear River and launched its first Liberty ship. Building 243 ships in all, including 186 Libertys. For its contributions during the war, the Navy awarded the company its “E” pennant for excellence in shipbuilding. NNS ranked 23rd among United States corporations in the value of wartime production contracts.

Ingalls Shipbuilding’s ship USS George Clymer, took part in Liberty Fleet Day.
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In the post-war years NNS built the famous passenger liner SS United States, which set a transatlantic speed record that still stands today.
NNS, Westinghouse and the Navy developed and built a prototype nuclear reactor for a carrier propulsion system.
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Ingalls started bidding on Navy work, winning a contract to build 12 nuclear-powered attack submarines.
NNS launched its first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Robert E. Lee.
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NNS designed USS Enterprise.
Litton Industries acquired Ingalls.
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Newport News merged with Tenneco Corporation. Litton Industries expanded its facilities to the other side of the river.
NNS launched two of the largest tankers ever built in the western hemisphere and also constructed three liquefied natural gas carriers – at over 390,000 deadweight tons, the largest ever built in the United States.
NNS and Westinghouse Electric Company jointly form Offshore Power Systems to build floating nuclear power plants for Public Service Electric and Gas Company.
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Ingalls reached a high point of employment with 27,280 workers.
NNS produced a variety of Navy products, including Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carriers and Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarines. Since 1999 the shipyard has produced only warships for the Navy.
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Tenneco initiated a spinoff of Newport News into an independent company (Newport News Shipbuilding).
The company was purchased by Northrop Grumman for $2.6 billion and renamed “Northrop Grumman Newport News”.

Litton was acquired by the Northrop Grumman Corporation.
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Ingalls facilities were damaged by Hurricane Katrina; most of the ships in dock and construction escaped serious harm. While shipbuilding was halted for a while due to the destruction of many buildings, most vehicles and the large overhead cranes are the same that the facility continues to operate today.
This division was merged with Northrop Grumman Ship Systems and given the name “Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding”.
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Huntington Ingalls Industries aquires G2 inc.
he company was spun off as Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc., which trades under the symbol HII on the New York Stock Exchange.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is named for the founders of its shipbuilding divisions: Collis Potter Huntington, who founded Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, and Robert Ingersoll Ingalls Sr., who established Ingalls Shipbuilding.
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HII acquires AMSEC.
HII acquires UniversalPegasus International.
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HII acquires S.M. Stoller Corporation
Ingalls Shipbuilding Company signed a contract with US Navy for new destroyers, littoral combat ships, and new landing craft. USS John Finn was one of the first new destroyers and was launched on 28 March. The company is also building the USS Ralph Johnson, USS Paul Ignatius and USS Delbert D. Black.

The shipyard received construction contracts for their next destroyers. Ingalls Shipbuilding Company was awarded a $604.3 million contract modification for building USS Frank E. Petersen Jr.

The shipyard also received another contract with a $500 million fixed price to build the eighth National Security Cutter (NSC) for the US Coast Guard. The cutters are the most advanced ships ever built for the Coast Guard.

HII acquires Engineering Solutions Division -The Columbia Group.
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HII established a third division, Technical Solutions, comprising the company’s services capabilities.

Ingalls Shipbuilding signed a contract with US Navy to build the U.S. Navy’s next large-deck amphibious assault warship. The contract included planning, advanced engineering, and procurement of long-lead material, is just over $272 million. If options are exercised, the cumulative value of the contract would be $3.1 billion.

HII acquires Camber Corporation.
The new San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha was commissioned in 2017.
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HII acquires Fulcrum IT Services.
HII acquires Hydroid.
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HII acquires Alion Science and Technology.
HII continues to transform the ways it does business by integrating digital technologies throughout the enterprise.

Affecting the full breadth of our workforce – from our skilled craft employees, engineers, designers, accountants, cybersecurity experts and more – Hil’s digital transformation efforts reach all areas of business. On the production line, Integrated Digital Shipbuilding (iDS) leverages cutting-edge digital tools to implement model-based systems engineering. The processes create digital efficiencies for deckplate employees in assembling the world’s most complex ships.
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