OCTOBER 26, 2016—The U.S. Coast Guard’s new Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) will go quietly into the night—and in the day—thanks to work by Noise Control Engineering, LLC (NCE), Billerica, MA.
The OPCs will replace the U.S. Coast Guard’s 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance fleet, which have been in service for 30 to 50 years. The ships will bridge the capabilities between the national security cutter, which patrols the open ocean, and the fast response cutter, which serves closer to shore. The Coast Guard plans to build up to 25 OPCs.
Earlier this month, the USCG issued a notice to proceed to the detail design and construction phase. Eastern Shipbuilding is moving ahead with the detail design of the lead vessel, which will be delivered in Fiscal Year 2021.
The OPC will have a length of 360 ft, beam of 54 ft, draft of 17 ft, with a sustained speed of 22.5 knots, and range of 10,200 nm at 14 knots.
NCE was recently selected to develop all noise and vibration control measures for OPC. As a member of the Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, FL, NCE will work with the vessel designer, Vard Marine, as well as Babcock International, during Phase II of the OPC program to develop the new cutters for the USCG.
NCE will provide noise control planning, analyses and design assistance, abatement recommendations, construction inspections and acoustic testing. A key element of the NCE toolset is the Designer NOISE modeling software, a highly accurate 3D acoustic modeling program created by NCE under a U.S. Navy Small Business Innovative Research grant and further developed under contract from the Office of Naval Research.
“Designing a quiet vessel is a critical component for any vessel, but this process takes on a whole new meaning for cutters that protect and patrol our nation's waters,” says NCE president Raymond Fischer.
NCE has provided acoustical engineering services for almost every class of USCG vessel built in the last forty years. The latest program was the FRC-B, while previous classes covered the 87 ft and 110 ft patrol boats, WLM and WLB buoy tenders and the WTGB. NCE engineers have also provided noise and vibration control services for the National Security Cutter, GLIB, WMEC, WHEC, WGAB, MLB and R-BM class of vessels.
Most recently, NCE supported the Eastern Shipbuilding Group and naval architectural and marine engineering firm Vard Marine on the Phase I effort of the OPC Program.