Page 48: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2015)

U.S. Coast Guard Annual

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USCG Makes Headway in Challenging Waters

By Edward Lundquist ay after day, the U.S. ships. Construction for two of the three coast at Alameda, Calif., and the fourth ages about $684 million per ship.

Coast Guard continues to replacement programs are underway. and most recently commissioned, USC- The NSC is speci? cally designed to conduct its 11 statutory The 12 Hamilton-class 378-foot high en- GC Hamilton, commissioned in Decem- launch and recover both long range in- missions with its lim- durance cutters will be replaced by eight ber 2014 and now homeported at North terceptors and short range boats, heli- ited resources. It is chal- Bertholf-class 418-foot National Securi- Charleston, S.C. All eight of the NSCs copters and unmanned aerial vehicles D lenged to Invest in long-term operational ty Cutters (designated as WMSLs). The are being constructed in Pascagoula, at high sea states. The ship features an capacity while continuing to carry out its Coast Guard’s aging 110-foot Island- Miss., by the Ingalls Shipbuilding divi- aircraft hangar and stern ramp for launch daily missions. class and 87-foot patrol boats are being sion of Huntington Ingalls Industries. and recovery of boats.

“We’re a small service, but as always, replaced with the 154-foot Sentinel-class While there are many differences be- The NSC is armed with the MK110 we do punch above our weight class,” fast response cutters. That leaves the re- tween the NSCs and the earlier 378s, the 57mm gun, which is also found on both said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. placement for the 14 210-foot Reliance biggest difference the ship’s information variants of the Navy’s littoral combat

Paul Zukunft during the 2015 Surface and 270-foot Famous (also known as the systems capable of handling classi? ed ship. The NSC also has the Phalanx

Navy Association symposium in Arling- Bear class for the lead ship of 13 ships) information, and advanced sensors and Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) for ton, Virginia. medium endurance cutters, which will combat management capabilities. point defense.

While the Coast Guard may have drift- be the yet-to-be-determined Offshore The NSC is the largest and most capa- The combined diesel and gas turbine ed off course with its ambitious and ho- Patrol Cutter or OPV. ble general-purpose cutter in the Coast (CODAG) propulsion system uses a listic Deepwater recapitalization effort, Guard ? eet as is designed for long-en- GE LM2500 gas turbine and two MTU the service is now on track to replace its National Security Cutter durance independent operations. Ac- 20V1163 diesel engines delivering near- high and medium endurance cutters and Four of the new NSCs have joined cording to the Congressional Research ly 50,000 shp, with a top speed of 28 patrol vessels with three new classes of the ? eet, with three based on the Paci? c Service, the NSC procurement cost aver- knots and a range of 12,000 and endur-

The Coast Guard Cutter Waesche conducts at-sea refueling operations.

The Alameda-based cutter is named in honor of former Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Russell Waesche. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Of? cer 1st Class Adam Eggers) 48 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • MARCH 2015

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