Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., has a new, $486-million contract to build a ninth National Security Cutter for the U.S. Coast Guard. The fixed-price, incentive-based contract would be carried out by the Huntington Ingalls Industries division over the coming four years, and deliver the vessel after 2019 — when the second of two National Security Cutters now under construction (the seventh and eighth of a 12-ship program) would be delivered.
The NSC or Legend-class cutters are the largest of several new cutter designs vessels developed as part of the Integrated Deepwater System Program, a 25-year project started in 2007 and seeking to replace all of the USCG’s cutter fleet. The 418-ft.-long ships feature combined diesel and gas power, with two 9,900-hp diesel engines and a single, 30,000-hp gas turbine engine. They are designed to reach more than 38 knots (32 mph) at top speed, with a range of 12,000 nautical miles (14,000 miles.)
The new Legend-class cutters will replace 12 Hamilton-class cutters, which entered service during the 1960s. Six of the new ships have been completed and delivered — most recently, the USCG Munro, on December 16 — and Ingalls has two more under construction.
Legend-class cutters are expected to be used for intercepting suspect vessels, or for rescuing swimmers, fishery protection, maritime homeland security, counterterrorism, coastal patrol missions, and to perform mine warfare.
“With the experience and knowledge our shipbuilders bring to this program, I am confident NSC 9 will be another great ship and continue the great success on this program,” stated Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias. “These ships remain in high demand by our Coast Guard customer, and we look forward to delivering another quality NSC to help them accomplish their vital homeland security missions.”