NASSCO Awarded $230 Million Contract for Eighth New Construction Strategic Sealift Ship

February 25, 2000 -- SAN DIEGO, CA -- National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), a General Dynamics company (NYSE: GD), has been awarded a $230 million contract to build its eighth Large Medium Speed Roll-on/Roll-off (LMSR) ship under the U.S. Navy's Strategic Sealift Program.

The contract announced today completes the 20-ship LMSR program, which NASSCO has shared with other American shipbuilders. NASSCO has now won contracts for eleven of the vessels, three conversions and eight new construction. This new contract will keep approximately 1,000 NASSCO workers, as well as hundreds more in supplier companies, employed over the life of the contract. Construction will commence this summer with delivery of the ship scheduled in mid-2002.

"NASSCO is especially pleased to win the competition for the award of this last LMSR which was approved by Congress in the Fiscal Year 2000 Defense Appropriations Bill," said Richard Vortmann, President of NASSCO. Vortmann applauded the efforts of Congressmen Brian Bilbray, Duke Cunningham, Duncan Hunter, and Senator Diane Feinstein who worked to secure funding for the ship. "This is a great victory for the San Diego shipbuilding industry and is a tribute to NASSCO's outstanding performance in delivering the sealift ships ahead of schedule, below budget, and with outstanding quality," remarked Vortmann.

The new construction strategic sealift ships are assigned to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, carrying U.S. Army combat equipment, vehicles and supplies near potential areas of conflict around the world. The ships also provide surge sealift support of remote military actions. Their multi-use capabilities make these cargo ships among the most flexible ever built. The ships are 950 feet in length and contain 390,000 square feet of cargo carrying space. All ships are being named for U.S. Army Medal of Honor recipients.

NASSCO, a General Dynamics' company, is the only West Coast shipyard capable of building and repairing large, ocean-going vessels. The shipyard employs approximately 3,200 at its San Diego facilities. More information on NASSCO can be obtained from the company's Web site at

General Dynamics ( of Falls Church, Virginia, has leading market positions in shipbuilding and marine systems, land and amphibious combat systems, information systems, and business aviation. The corporation employs approximately 43,000 people and has annualized sales of approximately $10 billion.