Avondale Shipyard was an independent shipbuilding company, acquired by Litton Industries, in turn acquired by Northrop Grumman Corporation. In 2011, along with the former Ingalls Shipbuilding, the yard was part of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
It closed in October 2014.
The yard was located on the west bank of the Mississippi River in an area called Bridge City, approximately 20 miles (32 km) upriver from New Orleans, Louisiana near Westwego, Louisiana. It was the site of the modernization of the USS Iowa in the early 1980s and also constructed some of the lighter aboard ships (LASH). At one time, it was the largest employer in the state of Louisiana with about 26,000 employees.
The company was founded in 1938 as Avondale Marine Ways, Inc., which began its activities by building boats and barges for navigation on the Mississippi. In 1941, the company employed only 200 workers.
They were awarded a contract to build tugboats for the United States Maritime Commission during World War II. This led to further contracts to build destroyers and destroyer escorts.
After World War II, Avondale took advantage of the expansion of the oil industry in Louisiana to build drilling barges and offshore oil rigs. They also built other commercial vessels such as fishing boats. They again obtained government contracts to build military vessels during the Korean and Vietnam wars. In 1998 Avondale Industries Inc., New Orleans, won contracts worth $454.7 million for the construction of two ships by the U.S. Navy (LPD ship and the Navy's newest amphibious assault ship).
In mid-2010, Northrop Grumman announced its intention to close the Avondale yard by 2013 and consolidate its Gulf coast shipbuilding operations at its Pascagoula, MS yard. Northrop Grumman did a Spin off of (NGSB) Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding to Huntington Ingalls Inc. effective as of March 31, 2011. The Avondale yard is now Huntington Ingalls Industries Avondale Operation, a subsidiary of Huntington Ingalls Inc. In February 2013 Avondale Plant was reorganized and entered sector of oil and gas production equipment.
USS Somerset was recorded as the last Navy ship to depart from the Avondale Ship Yard, on 3 February 2014.
Ships built by Avondale include:
- APL C-9 Class container vessels (1980-1983), originally President Monroe, President Washington, and President Lincoln. These are now operated by Matson Navigation Company as the M/V Manoa, Mahimahi, and Mokihana respectively.
- MARAD Design C9-S-81d class (9 LASH-ships)
- USCGC Healy (WAGB-20) United States Coast Guard (USCG) icebreaker and research vessel (1999)
- San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks (6 out of 9 ships, 2000–present) including USS New York (LPD-21) built with steel from the World Trade Center towers destroyed in the 9/11 attacks and USS Somerset (LPD-25) built with materials from United Flight 93, also destroyed on 9/11.
- Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ships (4 out of 4 ships, 1991–97)
- Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships (5 last of 8 ships, 1986–90)
- SS Velma Lykes, now the TS Kennedy, training ship for Massachusetts Maritime Academy
- Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oilers (14 out of 16 ships, 1984–96)
- Bob Hope class vehicle cargo ship( 7 ships build between 1993-2001)
- Hamilton-class USCG high endurance cutters (12 out of 12 ships, 1967–72)
- Knox-class frigates (27 out of 46 ships, 1967–74)
- USCGC Greenbrier (WLR-75501) - USCG river tender
- Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center a New York City prison ship (1992)
- "Avondale Shipyards Collection". University of New Orleans. February 2008. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "Avondale wins Navy shipbuilding contracts worth $454.7 million"
- "Huntington Ingalls to turn Avondale shipyard into a builder of oil and gas equipment."
- "USS Somerset Commissioned as Flight 93 Tribute". ABC News. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Raab, Selwyn (27 January 1999). "Bronx Jail Barge to Open, Though the Cost Is Steep". New York Times. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
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