Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) has successfully conducted its Final Critical Design Review (FCDR) with the U.S. Coast Guard on 29 June 2018 for the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Program.
This accomplishment comes after a week of discussions, demonstrations, and design presentations by ESG’s design team to the USCG and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The purpose of the FCDR is to verify that the OPC detail design is integrated and internally consistent with the USCG requirements and points towards the exercise of the contract option for construction of the first hull, the future USCGC Argus (WMSM-915).
Construction of the lead vessel is anticipated to start after the contract option is exercised with delivery in 2021.
ESG’s President Mr. said, “This major milestone for the OPC program was achieved on time and our design was found to be ready for the next milestone, Production Readiness Review (PRR) on July 31, 2018. We will continue to work closely with the Coast Guard to make the design more affordable to build and develop refinements to improve mission effectiveness.”, said Joey D’Isernia, the President of ESG.
“Today’s success could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication exhibited by the members of both the ESG and Coast Guard project teams. We are eager to take the next step with PRR and start of construction and look forward to an exciting fall for the Coast Guard and Eastern Shipbuilding”, he added.
On September 15, 2016 the U.S. Coast Guard exercised the Detail Design contract option, worth $110.3 million, to Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City, Florida. The contract includes options for production of up to nine (9) vessels and has a potential total value of $2.38 billion dollars.
On September 7, 2017 the U.S. Coast Guard exercised ESG’s contract option for Long Lead Time Material (LLTM) for the first Offshore Patrol Cutter, USCGC Argus.
USCG Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Program
Heritage-class cutter, also known as the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) and the Maritime Security Cutter, Medium (WMSM), is a new class of cutters being developed as part of the U.S. Coast Guard Integrated Deepwater System Program.
The ships will feature state-of-the-market technology and will replace the service’s 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance cutters, which are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and operate.
The OPC will provide a capability bridge between the 418-foot Legend-class National Security Cutter (NSC), which patrols the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments, and the 154-foot Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter (FRC), which serves closer to shore.
The OPC design includes the capability of carrying an MH-60R or MH-65 Helicopter and three operational Over-The-Horizon (OTH) small boats. The vessel is also equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system and C4ISR (command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) suite that will enhance capabilities to execute the service’s missions.
The OPCs will conduct missions including law enforcement, drug and migrant interdiction, search and rescue, and other homeland security and defense operations. Each OPC will be capable of deploying independently or as part of task groups and serving as a mobile command and control platform for surge operations such as hurricane response, mass migration incidents and other events. The cutters will also support Arctic objectives by helping regulate and protect emerging commerce and energy exploration in Alaska.
The Coast Guard announced the names of the first 11 offshore patrol cutters on Aug. 4, 2017, in honor of the 227th anniversary of the service’s founding. The Coast Guard plans to acquire a total of twenty-five (25) Offshore Patrol Cutters.
The names of the first 11 ships are:
+ USCGC Argus (WMSM 915)
+ USCGC Chase (WMSM 916)
+ USCGC Ingham (WMSM 917)
+ USCGC Rush (WMSM 918)
+ USCGC Pickering (WMSM 919)
+ USCGC Icarus (WMSM 920)
+ USCGC Active (WMSM 921)
+ USCGC Diligence (WMSM 922)
+ USCGC Alert (WMSM 923)
+ USCGC Vigilant (WMSM 924)
+ USCGC Reliance (WMSM 925)