Huntington Ingalls Industries has been awarded an $88.2 million contract for long-lead materials for the ninth Coast Guard Legend-class National Security Cutter, the company announced on Tuesday.
The class was set to end at eight ships but about $640 million in funds for a ninth cutter were included in last year’s omnibus funding bill. The Associated Press reported in December Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) was the driving forces behind inserting funds for the ninth ship in the omnibus that would be built at HII’s Pascagoula, Miss.
“The demands on the Coast Guard to protect our coasts and waterways from terrorism, human trafficking, drug smuggling and other maritime threats are not diminishing. They’re increasing and will continue to do so, “ a Cochran statement at the time read. “The National Security Cutter is the best weapon we have to meet that demand,”
According to HII, “the advance procurement funds will be used to purchase major items for NSC 9, such as steel, the main propulsion systems, generators, electrical switchboards and major castings.”
The 4,500-ton cutters are designed to operate up to 60 days at sea at a time and can be forward deployed for up to 230 days at a time under a rotational crewing scheme.
The yard has delivered five Legend-class cutters to date.
“Ingalls’ sixth NSC, Munro (WMSL-755), is scheduled for acceptance sea trials and delivery in the fourth quarter of 2016. The seventh ship, Kimball (WMSL-756), is scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter, and the keel for the eighth, NSC Midgett (WMSL-757), is scheduled to be laid later this year,” read the HII statement.