The fourth Coast Guard Legend-class National Security Cutter has completed builder’s trials, according to a Friday statement from shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII).
Hamilton (WMSL-753) departed Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. and conducted three days of trials in the Gulf of Mexico.
“While underway, Ingalls’ test and trials team conducted extensive testing of the propulsion, electrical, damage control, anchor handling, small boat operations and combat systems,” according to the statement. “This culminated in the successful completion of a four-hour, full-power propulsion run.”
The testing event comes ahead of a series of Coast Guard acceptance trials anticipated next month.
Three of the cutters have been delivered to the Coast Guard and three are currently under construction, according to HII.
Kimball (WMSL-756), the seventh NSC, is scheduled to start construction in 2015.
The Coast Guard awarded HII a $76.5 million long-lead contract for the eighth NSC in late June.
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.