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USCG offshore patrol cutter design takes shape

19th September 2016 - 14:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Eastern Shipbuilding Group will continue to the detailed design and construction phase of the US Coast Guard’s new offshore patrol cutter (OPC), the coast guard announced on 15 September.

The $110.29 million award will see the company undertake detailed design work and includes options for the production of up to nine OPCs. With all options exercised the value could rise to $2.38 billion.

Eastern Shipbuilding was selected to proceed to phase two of the programme following an analysis of designs submitted by three contractors under preliminary and contract design awards issued in 2014.

The company’s notional design is 360ft long, with a beam of 54ft and a draft of 17ft. The OPCs will have a range of 10,200 nautical miles (at 14 knots) and endurance for 60-day patrol cycles. They will conduct missions including law enforcement, drug and migrant interdiction, search and rescue and other homeland security and defence operations. Each OPC will feature a flight deck and advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.

The OPC will bridge the capabilities of the 418ft national security cutters, which patrol the open ocean, and the 154ft fast response cutters, which serve closer to shore. 

Delivery of the first OPC is planned for fiscal year 2021.

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