The Coast Guard on September 15 selected Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. of Panama City, Florida, to continue to the detail design and construction phase (Phase II) of the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) acquisition program. The award is worth $110.29 million.
The full Phase II award covers detail design and production of up to nine OPCs and has a potential value of $2.38 billion if all options are exercised.
The award is the culmination of more than two years of analysis with the contractors who submitted proposals. The service awarded preliminary and contract design awards to three contractors in February 2014 and selected Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. to complete detail design after evaluating an extensive range of contract deliverables submitted by the preliminary and contract design phase contractors.
Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s notional design is 360 feet/110 meters long, with a beam of 54 feet/16.5 meters and a draft of 17 feet/5.2 meters. The OPCs will have a range of 10,200 nautical miles/11,738 miles/18,890 km (at 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h) and endurance for 60-day patrol cycles and will conduct missions including law enforcement, drug and migrant interdiction search and rescue, and other homeland security and defense operations. Each OPC will feature a flight deck and advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.
«The offshore patrol cutter acquisition is the Coast Guard’s highest investment priority, and we are proud to announce this important milestone», said Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Paul Zukunft. «The offshore patrol cutter will replace our aging medium endurance cutters and provide the majority of offshore presence by the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet. Whether combating transnational organized criminal networks off Central America or patrolling in the increasingly accessible Arctic, the offshore patrol cutter will ensure our nation’s maritime security and economic interests are preserved for decades to come».
The OPC will bridge the capabilities of the 418-foot/127-meter national security cutters, which patrol the open ocean, and the 154-foot/47-meter fast response cutters, which serve closer to shore. The ships will replace the 270-foot/82-meter and 210-foot/64-meter medium endurance cutters, which have been in service for 30 to 50 years.
Delivery of the first OPC is planned for fiscal year 2021.
The Coast Guard has already established the OPC project resident office at the service’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to lay the ground work for a new unit and ensure an efficient transition of acquisition personnel to the shipyard facilities. The OPC PRO will oversee construction, support and manage contract execution of the OPC acquisition and will act as an on-site extension of the acquisition program following completion of PRO facilities by the shipbuilder this winter.
Characteristics and Performance
|Length||360 feet/110 m|
|Beam||54 feet/16.5 m|
|Draft||17 feet/5.2 m|
|Sustained Speed||22.5 knots/26 mph/41.7 km/h|
|Range||10,200 NM/11,738 miles/18,890 km (at 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h)|
|Propulsion||Two 16V marine diesel engines|
|Prop Type||Two five-blade, controllable pitch|
|Boats||Three OTH (Over the Horizon)|
|Hangar||One MH-60 or MH-65, plus Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)|