The Coast Guard awarded a contract Monday of approximately $480 million to Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding for the production of the fourth National Security Cutter.
“The award of the fourth National Security Cutters is a significant milestone for the Coast Guard's recapitalization efforts," said Adm. Bob Papp, commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, adding, "This is a great day for our Service's men and women who need these new and capable ships to ensure the safety and security of our nation's waters in the very demanding conditions encountered at sea."
NSC 4 will be built at the Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding facility in Pascagoula, Miss., and is expected to be delivered in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015.
The contract is a fixed price incentive type. It is the first National Security Cutter production contract to be awarded directly to the shipbuilder, outside of the Integrated Coast Guard Systems commercial lead-system integrator contract framework. The Coast Guard is the Systems Integrator for its recapitalization programs and is responsible for their management and execution.
"This award ensures we are securing the needed platforms to replace the 40-year-old 378-foot high endurance class of cutters that perform our Service's most challenging missions, but are disintegrating with age. We can't replace them fast enough" said Papp.
The National Security Cutter is the flagship of the Coast Guard’s recapitalized surface fleet. It is the most capable and technologically advanced multi-mission cutter in the Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement and national defense missions. It is 418 feet in length and features a range of 12,000 nautical miles, a top speed of 28 knots and 60-day endurance. National Security Cutters have a crew of approximately 110, with berthing for up to 148 to accommodate additional personnel such as deployed helicopter crews and Law Enforcement Detachments. It is also the first Coast Guard cutter to feature both stern launch and flight deck provisions. Additional features include advanced command and control communications for greatly improved interoperability and information sharing with Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense and other operational partners.
The Coast Guard plans to acquire eight National Security Cutters. The lead cutter in the class, USCGC Bertholf, is fully operational and executing Coast Guard missions in the field. The second, USCGC Waesche, was commissioned in May 2010 and is currently preparing for her first operational deployment. Both are homeported at Coast Guard Island, Alameda, Calif. The third, Stratton, is under construction at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and approximately two-thirds complete, with delivery expected in the latter half of 2011.
More information on the National Security Cutter can be found online at: http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/nsc/default.asp.