Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE: HII) held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday in Hampton, Virginia, for its center of excellence for the development, production and testing of unmanned systems.
The future 157-square-foot center at the Hampton Roads Center’s North Campus area will feature two buildings with digital manufacturing equipment and complement underwater technology engineering work by HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division, the company said Tuesday.
Andy Green, president of HII’s technical solutions segment and a 2020 Wash100 awardee, said the company seeks to address an increasing demand from the U.S. Navy for unmanned underwater and surface vessels through the new facility.
Duane Fotheringham, president of the unmanned systems group within the technical solutions business, noted that the center builds on HII’s marine robotics projects across facilities in Florida, Massachusetts and Washington.
HII aims to complete the first building, which spans 22K square feet, by the end of this year and the second facility, which encompasses 135K square feet, in the fourth quarter of next year.
The military shipbuilder expects the project to create at least 250 jobs.