FEBRUARY 13, 2014—Chris Bollinger, President of Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., one of the most experienced shipbuilders of U.S. Coast Guard cutters, said in a statement that being selected as one of three companies for Phase 1 of the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program was "both exciting and rewarding for our company, our talented workforce, and the State of Louisiana." As we reported on February 11, Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., Lockport, LA, along with General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, ME, and Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, FL, were selected by the U.S. Coast Guard for award of Phase I for the OPC program.
"For over three decades, Bollinger Shipyards has a legacy of producing exceptional Coast Guard Cutters on budget and on schedule," said Bollinger. He added, "We look forward to delivering another world class design to the United States Coast Guard."
Under the first phase of the program, Bollinger Shipyards, GD-Bath Iron Works and Eastern Shipbuilding will provide preliminary and contract design (P&CD). After P&CD, the government plans to select a single shipbuilder that best balances affordability with Coast Guard requirements. The Phase II detailed design and construction (DD&C) contract is planned for award in 2016, consisting of the lead OPC with potential options to build up to 10 additional cutters. The Coast Guard has stated a need for up to 25 total OPCs.
The OPC will bridge the capability gap between the Fast Response Cutter (FRC) that are presently being built by Bollinger, and the National Security Cutter (NSC). This new cutter is a next-generation ship that will complement the Coast Guard’s current and future fleet to extend the service’s operational capabilities. It will feature increased range and endurance, a larger flight deck, and improved interoperability. The OPC will accommodate rotary wing aircraft and small boat operations in all weather. The OPC will be designed to carry out the congressionally mandated missions of the Medium Endurance Cutters (WMEC).
During Phase I of the OPC program, Bollinger will support the development of the Preliminary and Contract Design, which will include Naval Architecture, Design, Engineering, Production Planning, and Facility Improvement Planning. Bollinger is partnered with Gibbs & Cox Maritime Solutions, L3 Communications, and Damen Shipyards Group. The Phase I contract will employ over 250 naval architects, engineers, designers and planners in support of developing Bollinger’s preliminary and contract design along with Bollinger’s Phase II proposal for detailed design and construction. If Bollinger is successful in their bid for the Phase II construction contract for OPC, it will bring thousands of jobs to South Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
Bollinger added, "This award is a continued vote of confidence for our dedicated craftsmen and engineers who are designing and building our cutters for the USCG. This announcement is one step closer in our long relationship with the USCG, and demonstrates Bollinger’s potential for building Coast Guard cutters for decades to come. I could not be more pleased with our talented and dedicated workforce. Each and every employee at Bollinger adds to our success and makes a difference.”