HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A new facility to create unmanned systems for the military will bring more than 250 new jobs to the Peninsula.

The Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence through Huntington Ingalls will be based in Hampton off Commander Shepard Boulevard, Gov. Ralph Northam and others announced Tuesday morning.

Workers at the facility will build unmanned underwater vehicles of all sizes.

“Virginia is proud to be home to the largest military shipbuilder in the country,” Northam said in a press release. “Huntington Ingalls Industries is a national leader in advanced manufacturing, and this investment is a powerful testament to Virginia’s workers and business environment. The company’s new unmanned systems facility in Hampton will support America’s national security and play a key role in strengthening our economic recovery as we continue working to rebound from this health crisis.”

Virginia beat out North Carolina for the facility.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is the nation’s largest military shipbuilding company and provides professional services to the government and within the industry.

“Huntington Ingalls Industries has been a longtime valued corporate partner to Virginia, and we are proud that the company will continue its investment in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “HII already employs more than 26,000 Virginians, and its role in our economy cannot be overstated. We look forward to supporting this significant project as Huntington Ingalls expands its footprint in Hampton Roads.”

One building at the site will start being erected on Tuesday, with plans of having it done at the end of 2020, and the larger facility will be completed by the fall 2021, officials say.

“We are very excited to build this state-of-the-art facility and believe this added capability will truly enhance our ability to perform current and future work and allow us to remain on the forefront of advanced manufacturing technology,” said President of Technical Solutions and Executive Vice President of Huntington Ingalls Industries Andy Green. “We are appreciative of the great partnerships we have with the Commonwealth, Governor Northam, and our local officials as we move forward in constructing this new facility.” 

Huntington Ingalls President and CEO Mike Peters says this state-of-the-art facility will allow them to remain on the forefront of manufacturing technology.

“Right here is where we will begin to manufacture and assemble components as part of the Bowing led team. For the Navy’s Orca XLUUV Program, the largest and most advanced undersea system in the world,” said Peters.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Hampton and the Hampton Roads Alliance to make it all happen.

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