Navy anchor

Norfolk Naval Shipyard 

Facility for building, remodeling, and repairing the Navy’s ships
Portsmouth, VA 23709

The Norfolk Navy Shipyard (NNSY) is located in Portsmouth, Virginia. It is one of the largest shipyards in the world and it is the oldest and largest industrial facility that belongs to the U.S. Navy. The shipyard specializes in repairing, overhauling and modernizing ships and submarines. It can not only dry-dock, overhaul and repair any ship in the U.S. fleet, it can also perform any technical, fabrication, manufacturing and engineering work your organization might need accomplished. NNSY has earned it numerous awards and the reputation of being the nation’s number one shipyard.


Portsmouth Naval Shipyard’s primary mission is the overhaul, repair and modernization of Los Angeles-class submarines. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard provides the U.S. Navy’s nuclear powered submarine fleet with quality overhaul work in a safe, timely and affordable manner. This includes a full spectrum of in-house support–from engineering services and production shops, to unique capabilities and facilities, to off-site support–all of which serves the multifaceted assortment of fleet requirements. With the commissioning of the Virginia-class submarine, USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) in 2008, the shipyard and the Seacoast Communities got their first look at the next generation of submarine technology and the future of ship repair. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard performed the first extended availability on the new class of submarine on USS Virginia (SSN 774) gaining valuable knowledge and experience for future Virginia-class availabilities. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is committed to maximizing the material readiness of the fleet by delivering on-time, affordable quality, safely achieved.


On November 1, 1767 Andrew Sprowle, a merchant and ship owner, established the Gosport Shipyard on the western shore of the Elizabeth River under the British flag. The shipyard developed and prospered as both a naval and merchant shipyard. When the American Revolution began in 1775, Sprowle chose to remain loyal to the Crown and fled the area aboard the Royal Governor’s flagship. All his properties were confiscated by the Colony of Virginia. While being operated by Virginia, in 1779, the shipyard was burned by the British.
This former colonial shipyard became the Navy’s nucleus in the Hampton Roads area where the largest naval base in the world has developed. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard is the U.S. Navy’s oldest shipyard and actually predates the United States Navy Department by 31 years. The largest shipyard on the East Coast. Known for most of its first century as “Gosport”, it was renamed “Norfolk” in 1862 after the largest city in the area. It has never borne the name of its home city of Portsmouth.


Arriving at Shipyard
Check In — Military members reporting to NNSY: must check-in during normal business hours. Service members should contact sponsor for assistance. Military members reporting after hours must call the Duty Office at (757) 396-8615.
Cell phone use and headsets are prohibited while driving on all military installations.
Personal weapons are prohibited on the installation.

Base Population

The work force at Norfolk Naval Shipyard comes from the following areas: 24 percent Portsmouth; 15 percent Virginia Beach; 30 percent Chesapeake; 7 percent Norfolk; 9 percent Suffolk; 8 percent other Virginia areas; and 7 percent from North Carolina.