APRIL 1, 2014 — The U.S. Coast Guard has awarded a fixed-price incentive firm target contract valued at approximately $497 million to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) for production of the seventh National Security Cutter (NSC).
NSC 7, to be named the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball, will be built at HHI's Ingalls Shipbuilding division shipyard in Pascagoula, MS. Production of NSC 7 will begin early next year.
A contract option for long lead time materials for NSC 7 was exercised June 14, 2013. Long lead time materials include main propulsion and navigation systems, generators, electrical switchboards, major castings, and other items needed in advance of a production award.
Stratton, commissioned in 2012, embarked on its first operational deployment earlier this year.
Three NSCs are currently in production at Ingalls shipyards. The fourth NSC, Hamilton, is scheduled for delivery later this year and will mark the first of two NSCs planned to be homeported in Charleston, S.C. The fifth NSC, James, is scheduled for delivery in 2015. The sixth NSC, Munro, is scheduled for delivery in 2016. The Coast Guard plans to acquire eight NSCs.
The NSC is the most technologically sophisticated cutter in the Coast Guard fleet, capable of performing critical homeland security, law enforcement and national defense missions in the most demanding open ocean environments. The cutter is 418 feet long, has a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles and endurance to perform 60- to 90-day patrols.
"We have a hot production line with this class of ships, and we continue to get better—a tangible result demonstrating the value of serial production," said Ingalls NSC Program Manager Jim French. "Each ship is built more effectively and more affordably than the one before it, and this is due to the hard work of our shipbuilders who are implementing efficient build plans and bringing our learning curve down as each ship is delivered. We look forward to starting construction on this ship in January 2015."
Ingalls has delivered the first three NSCs and has three more under construction. Hamilton (WMSL 753) is 81 percent complete and will deliver in the third quarter of 2014; James (WMSL 754) is 52 percent complete and will launch in April, and the sixth NSC (WMSL 755) began construction late last year and is scheduled for launch in the fourth quarter of 2015. The seventh ship, WMSL 756, is scheduled for delivery in 2018.
Legend-class NSCs are the flagships of the Coast Guard's cutter fleet. Designed to replace the 378‐foot Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters that entered service during the 1960s, they are 418 feet long with a 54-foot beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 110.
NSCs are capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the high-endurance cutter. They include an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary wing aircraft. The Legend class is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions.