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Three Companies Win Design Contract For New Coast Guard Cutters

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Artist's conception of Bath Iron Work's Offshore Patrol Cutter concept for the US Coast Guard. BIW Photo

Artist’s conception of Bath Iron Work’s Offshore Patrol Cutter concept for the US Coast Guard. BIW Photo

The Coast Guard awarded three preliminary design contracts for the service’s new Offshore Patrol Cutter last week, the service announced.
Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, La., Eastern Shipbuilding in Panama City, Fla. and General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Bath, Maine won a collected $65 million firm fixed price contracts to design a replacement for the Coast Guard’s aging medium endurance cutter fleet

The 270-foot Famous-class and 210-foot Reliance-class cutters are decades old ships which the Coast Guard has said it needs to badly replace.

Offshore Patrol Vessels are primarily used by the service to patrol the U.S. economic exclusion zone in missions ranging from anti trafficking to enforcement of fishing regulations.

BIW announced it would partner with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia and L-3 Communications for the company’s bid. The BIW bid appears to be based on Navantia’s Buques de Acción Marítima (BAM) — a modular ship design is based on a diesel electric drive system.

Bollinger is partnered with Gibbs & Cox Maritime Solutions, L3 Communications, and Damen Shipyards Group for the yard’s bid. The company is currently building the Coast Guard’s fast response cutters.

Eastern Shipbuilding's concept for the OPC. Eastern Shipbuilding Photo

Eastern Shipbuilding’s concept for the OPC. Eastern Shipbuilding Photo

Eastern Shipbuilding Group has teamed with STX Marine and Northrop Grumman for the Offshore Patrol Cutter Design, according to the company.

Each company will work for 18 months on their designs before the Coast Guard selects one design for the 25 cutter class.

 

 

 

  • Peter

    I don’t know what requirements the USCG has for its Offshore Patrol Cutters, and a lot of the armament and capability of USCG cutters have been reduced due to budget cuts, but I would recommend a 76mm main gun since the 57mm gun on the NSC cannot hole the side plate hull steel of a ship.

    The USCG should uparm its cutters…and perhaps enhance and strengthen the hull for ice and Arctic operations. SeaRAM would also give the USCG cutters some limited Anti-missile and Anti-Air capability that is more effective and longer range than CIWS. Also, torpedo tubes would make the Offshore Patrol Cutters more balanced and armed like a frigate, especially in littoral waters. The armament depicted in these graphics is no better or more than those of the NSCs.

    (The Harpoons and torpedo tubes on the “Hamilton” High Endurance Cutters were removed or not supported during SLEP to save on weapons cost and training, essentially turning the Hamiltons into gunboats. The USCG should not follow this “Hamilton SLEP” trend and just have cutter gunboats for the next 30-50 years).

    • Punky

      and it needs light sabers………………………..