Located where the Pascagoula River flows into the Mississippi Sound, Ingalls Shipyard is strategically positioned for easy access to the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Producing ships of every variety, including commercially owned and operated ships as well as vessels for the US Navy; Ingalls Shipbuilding is Mississippi's largest private employer.
Ingall's Shipbuilding business took off with the start of WWI. Construction activities at the site increased greatly, and by WWII, the company was well prepared for the immense wartime demand. The shipyard had made changes that allowed it to support the production of United States naval combat ships by the start of the Cold War. Ingalls then won a contract with the US Navy to construct 12 nuclear-powered attack submarines in 1957.
The company expanded by adding another shipyard in 1968, when ownership of the yard changed hands to Litton Industries, a California-based company. Ingalls has delivered 77 major surface warships since the 1970s including amphibious assault ships, submarine tenders, destroyers, ammunition ships, and nuclear submarines.
Ingalls has also been in the drilling rig construction business since the 1950s. The company still delivers these rigs in great numbers today. Ingalls constructed 13 jack up drillings rigs, 4 submersible drilling rigs, and a self-unloading cement barge in the 1980s alone. The yard also produces railroad hopper cars, and it has built thousands of these barges over the years.
While the company only employs about 10,900 people today, in 1977 the employment rate at Ingalls peaked at 25,000. Presently, Ingalls has a contract to construct Arliegh Burke (DDG 51) Class Aegis guided missile destroyers and Wasp (LHD 1) Class multipurpose amphibious assault ships. As of 1999, Ingalls was under contract to build a total of 23 Aegis destroyers for the US Navy.