Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) launched the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton (WMSL-753), the fourth in a class of eight planned Legend-class National Security Cutters for the U.S. Coast Guard, the service announced on Wednesday.
Hamilton reached the water for the first time as part of its ongoing construction at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss on Aug. 10.
The ship is expected to be delivered to the service in the second half of 2014.
The launch follows news in June of a $76.8 million contract award to HII for the seventh ship in the class.
The NSC is a 4,500 long ton ship planned to replace the Hamilton-class cutters that entered the Coast Guard inventory in the late 1960s.
Unlike Navy ships, NSCs are designed to operate independently for long periods without resupply. Under a rotational crew plan the ships can be forward deployed for up to 230 days without returning to homeport.