The Coast Guard awarded shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) a $76.5 million contract for long lead materials for the eighth and final Legend-class National Security Cutter (NSC), the company annouced on Monday.
The award for the planned cutter Midgett (WMSL-757) will be used for items, “including steel, the main propulsion systems, generators, electrical switchboards and major castings,” read a statement from the company.
“The long-lead material contracts give our shipbuilders the ability to immediately start construction of the ship if and when that contract is awarded,” said Jim French, Ingalls’ National Security Cutter program manager in the statement.
“The advance procurement helps us get the best cost possible for equipment and materials and keeps the industrial base production line flowing.”
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.
The endurance of the new cutters will allow eight NSC to replace the original 12 Hamilton-class cutters. Four Hamilton-class cutters have been sold to foreign navies.
The ships are being built at HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss.