JULY 24, 2014—The U.S. Coast Guard today exercised a contract option worth $255.1 million with Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, LA, for production of six more Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) and three sets of deep insurance spares.
This option brings the total number of FRCs under contract with Bollinger to 30 and the total value of the contract to nearly $1.38 billion. There are a total of 58 planned for the class.
To date, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has taken delivery of 10 FRCs. Nine FRCs have been commissioned into service, and the tenth, Raymond Evans, will be commissioned this September in Key West, FL.
MAKING AN IMPACT
In the field, the USCG says that the FRC is already making a significant impact. On May 2, 2014, Coast Guard Cutters Paul Clark and Charles Sexton teamed to achieve the Sentinel class’ first two drug interdictions, seizing more than 2,100 pounds of marijuana and 35 kilograms of cocaine with a combined wholesale value of more than $3 million. Leveraging the upgraded speed and enhanced communication capabilities and information technologies that the Sentinel class provides, the two cutters were able to locate and apprehend two suspect vessels within a 24-hour period, all of the time maintaining awareness of each other’s actions as well as sending and receiving information from Coast Guard MH-60T and MH-65D helicopters supporting the case.
The FRC uses a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. It has a flank speed of 28+ knots and a 2,500 hours per year operational employment target. It uses state-of-the-market command, control, communications and computer technology interoperable with the Coast Guard’s existing and future assets, as well as Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense assets.