The U.S. Coast Guard today awarded a fixed-price incentive contract action valued at approximately $482 million to Huntington Ingalls Industries for the production of the fifth National Security Cutter (NSC).
“The contract award for production and delivery of the fifth NSC is an important step forward in the Coast Guard’s efforts to recapitalize its aging surface fleet,” said Rear Adm. Bruce Baffer, the Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate’s program executive officer. “The NSC is desperately needed to replace the service’s 40-year old High Endurance Cutters and to be able to perform today’s challenging homeland security missions.”
NSC 5 will be built at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. Construction of NSC 5 is expected to officially begin after the builder cuts 100 tons of steel, approximately six months after contract award.
This is the second NSC production contract action that the Coast Guard has awarded directly to the shipbuilder since moving the project outside of the commercial lead systems integrator framework. The Coast Guard is now the systems integrator for all of its recapitalization projects and is responsible for their management and execution.
The Coast Guard awarded the production contract for NSC 4 in November 2010. Stable vessel requirements have allowed the service to control costs and establish realistic project schedules. As a result of learning gained by the shipyard and the Coast Guard during the construction of previous NSCs, the program is achieving efficiencies in cost and schedule.
The NSC is the most capable vessel of the Coast Guard’s recapitalized surface fleet. It features robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement and national defense missions. Each NSC is 418 feet long with an operational range of 12,000 nautical miles, a top speed of 28 knots and a 60-day endurance. NSCs have a crew of 113 with berthing for up to 148 to accommodate additional personnel, such as law enforcement detachments. These technologically advanced vessels also are the first Coast Guard cutters to feature both a helicopter flight deck and a small boat stern launch allowing the deployment of boarding teams in worse weather than prior vessels. The NSC’s advanced command-and-control communications systems greatly improve its interoperability and information sharing with the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense and other operational partners.
The Coast Guard plans to acquire eight NSCs. The lead cutter in the class, Bertholf, and the second NSC, Waesche, are fully operational and executing Coast Guard missions in the field. Both are homeported in Alameda, Calif. The third NSC, Stratton, recently completed successful acceptance trials and was delivered to the Coast Guard Sept. 2. Fabrication of the fourth NSC, Hamilton, began in Pascagoula last month.
For more information on the National Security Cutter, please visit the project’s website at http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/NSC.