Posted on July 26, 2023
Explore the largest military shipbuilding companies, building the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard fleet and ensuring maritime strength and security.
Strengthening maritime presence has consistently remained a key priority of the U.S. federal government. In pursuit of this objective, the military engages in contracts with the largest shipbuilding companies to build world-class naval ships equipped with advanced electronic and warfare features. Learn more about some of the largest military shipbuilding companies right here.
- Revenue: $10.7 billion (FY2022)
- Established: 2011 (Spin-off from Northrop Grumman)
- Headquarters: Newport News, Virginia
Formerly known as Huntington Ingalls Industries, HII operates multiple shipyards dedicated to the construction of various naval vessels, including nuclear-powered ships, amphibious assault ships, destroyers, and more. With a long-standing history spanning over 135 years, HII has established itself as a trusted partner of the U.S. Navy, responsible for designing and developing a significant portion of its fleet.
Following successful mergers and acquisitions, HII currently operates three divisions:
- Newport News Shipbuilding serves as the national sole designer, builder, and refueler of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and warships.
- Ingalls Shipbuilding pioneers the development of advanced warships for the maritime surface fleet of the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and other maritime-focused agencies.
- Mission Technologies is responsible for connecting naval capabilities with other domains, such as aerospace and cyberspace, to boost multi-domain capabilities.
Notable HII projects
HII manufactures a broad scope of maritime products, including aircraft carriers, submarines, guided missile destroyers, and integrated digital shipbuilding, among others. As a primary contractor for the Navy, the company provides services that help solidify the government’s presence in the seas. Some of HII’s notable projects include:
- Columbia-class submarines
- Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier
- San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock
- Arleigh Burke-class destroyers
- Legend-class cutter
- Revenue: $10.9 billion (FY2022)
- Established: 1952
- Headquarters: Reston, Virginia
Not only is General Dynamics a prominent player in the aerospace, combat, maritime, and technologies markets; it also offers a comprehensive range of products and services. Within the company, the maritime sector stands out as one of its largest business groups, focusing on the design, construction, and manufacturing of submarines, naval ships, and other military vessels.
General Dynamics operates three subsidiaries under its Marine Systems umbrella:
- Bath Iron Works, located in Maine, is a major shipyard for building, repairing, and equipping naval vessels with the latest technologies and combat capabilities.
- General Dynamics NASSCO has a rich history in ship design and construction, primarily on the West Coast. This subsidiary has expanded its operations to the East Coast, contributing significantly to the company’s maritime endeavors.
- Electronic Boat is recognized as a premier shipyard contractor specializing in the construction of nuclear-powered submarines for the United States federal government’s Navy.
Notable General Dynamics projects
Benefitting from its diverse capabilities, General Dynamics excels in the creation of world-class military warships, submarines, and maritime technologies. The company propels the federal government’s naval facilities with industry-leading technologies in maritime and defense. General Dynamics is responsible for projects such as:
- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers
- Zumwalt-class destroyer
- Virginia- and Columbia-class nuclear-powered submarines
- Cachalot-class submarine
Fincantieri Marine Group
- Established: 1902
- Headquarters: Washington D.C.
The Fincantieri Marine Group is the American subsidiary of a global shipbuilder, Fincantieri S.p.A, with demonstrated success in building a range of vessels for the government and commercial markets. The company is dedicated to the construction, repair, and maintenance of maritime vessels working to defend the United States nautical borders.
To deliver the best in class maritime services, Fincantieri Marine Group operates its American shipyards through three distinct groups:
- Fincantieri Marinette Marine specializes in small surface combatants, including the U.S. Navy future-guided missile frigates and freedom-class littoral combat ships.
- Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is responsible for the conversion, construction, and repair of Coast Guard vessels, including two of the largest LNG bunker barges in the U.S.
- Fincantieri ACE Marine builds high-speed coastal intercept, patrol vessels, and medium-sized response boats of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Notable Fincantieri Marine Group projects
As a shipbuilding powerhouse with over 300 years of experience, Fincantieri Marine Group has been a trusted contractor of the federal government in constructing new military vessels and highly specialized support ships. The company specializes in naval and coast guard vessels and mechanized products, including:
- Constellation-class frigate
- Great Lakes icebreakers
- Fleet ocean tugs
- Aids-to-navigation barge
- Patrol craft
- Coastal buoy tenders
- Established: 1999
- Headquarters: Mobile, Alabama
As a global shipbuilding company, Austal USA has had decades of experience in the transportation of people and goods. With the capability to manufacture both aluminum and steel ships, the company has earned a strong reputation for completing projects within schedule and budget. Austal USA takes great pride in maintaining an exceptional safety record, having received more than 23 safety awards for excellence, which makes it one of the safest shipyards in the United States.
While the company’s primary expertise lies in its shipbuilding core, Austal USA also excels in various systems for the maritime industry. Under the Seastate division, the company focuses on motion control and evaluation, while the Marinelink division specializes in producing ship monitoring and control systems. Austal USA remains committed to innovation, continuously enhancing production processes and pioneering new ideas, designs, and products to meet the needs of its commercial and government customers.
Notable Austal USA projects
Branching out from its experience in the commercial sector, Austal USA has since secured government programs to build the U.S. Coast Guard fleet. The company is currently building various ships, dry docks, and other machinery control systems, such as:
- Heritage-class offshore patrol cutters
- Salvage and rescue ships
- Expeditionary medical ships
- Independence-variant littoral combat ships
- Ocean surveillance ships
- Established: 1946
- Headquarters: Lockport, Louisiana
Recognized as one of the safest shipyards for 18 years, Bollinger Shipyards has made a strategic footprint across 11 shipyards located throughout Louisiana for over 75 years. The company’s location near the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River, and the Intercoastal Waterway strengthens its position as the largest privately-owned shipyard in the United States.
Bollinger Shipyards has expanded its production of vessels and fast response cutters, initially to local agriculture and oil markets and later to the defense industry. As a family-owned enterprise, the company carries over its years of proven experience in shipbuilding to provide quality products at a timely pace.
Notable Bollinger Shipyards projects
Over the course of its history, Bollinger Shipyards has built 179 for the U.S. Coast Guard—47 of which are sentinel-class fast response cutters. The company has manufactured over 3,800 vessels for government and commercial markets, including:
- U.S. Navy Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ship
- “Sentinel class” fast response cutters
- “Marine protector class” patrol boats
- “Cyclone class” patrol coastal
- “Island class” patrol boats