OCTOBER 2, 2012 — VT Halter Marine, Inc. has announced a partnership agreement with France's DCNS to submit a proposal to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the design and construction of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC). VT Halter Marine will be the prime contractor and DCNS will be its exclusive subcontractor for the OPC platform design.
"VT Halter Marine is very pleased with the partnership agreement we have with DCNS. We are positive that the innovative OPC design proposed by VT Halter Marine and DCNS will be the most suitable and cost effective solution for the U.S. Coast Guard," said VT Halter Marine CEO Bill Skinner.
"This agreement reflects DCNS' commitment to a long-term partnership with VT Halter Marine in order to provide the U.S. Coast Guard with a capable and cost effective solution," said Pierre Legros, SVP Surface Ships & Naval Systems, DCNS
Though yesterday's announcement from VT Halter Marine gave scant details of the OPC design that the partnership is submitting, DCNS announced back in July 2010 that it had designed an Offshore Patrol Cutter for the USCG program "fulfilling historical and new Coast Guard requirements" and benefiting from "a sea proven hull design and the insertion of innovations developed for most recent DCNS surface combatant ships."
DCNS said its experience acquired in major overseas programs had shown the vital importance of building up a strong partnership with local industry and shipyards and that its OPC had "been designed to enable an easy shipbuilding in a local partner shipyard."
Interestingly, although an image of the DCNS OPC appears on the group's French language website, there's just a black square in the same location on its English language site.