The Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter (FRC) acquisition project reached a major milestone Sept. 18, 2013, when it received DHS approval to enter full-rate production. Also known as the “Produce, Deploy and Support” acquisition phase, approval was granted after the cutter successfully completed Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E). This approval allows the Coast Guard to continue to acquire the FRC. It also confirms that necessary plans are in place to properly support the FRCs as the cutters join the Coast Guard surface fleet.
To date, seven FRCs have been delivered to the Coast Guard, and six have been commissioned into service. The FRC is already making a significant impact in the field. This summer, Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered participated in Operation Unified Resolve, a multi-agency effort to support continuing law enforcement operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. During this operation, Robert Yered supported a narcotics interdiction resulting in the seizure of $35 million worth of cocaine bound for the streets of the United States.
The FRC has a flank speed of 28+ knots and is equipped with state-of-the-market command, control, communications and computer technology that is interoperable with the Coast Guard’s existing and planned future assets, as well as Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense assets. The Coast Guard plans to acquire a total of 58 FRCs.
For more information: Fast Response Cutter project page