Northrop Grumman Corporation supported Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) in their Final Critical Design Review (FCDR) for the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Program.
Northrop Grumman serves as ESG’s C4ISR and control systems integrator for OPC, with responsibilities that include the integrated bridge, navigation, command and control, computing network, data distribution, machinery control, and propulsion control system design and production.
“Northrop Grumman has been a trusted member of the ESG team since the inception of the OPC program,” said Joey D’Isernia, president, ESG. “Their expertise in systems design and integration has contributed to ESG’s ongoing success in achieving the USCG’s requirements for the OPC platform.”
The OPC will be the Coast Guard’s newest class of cutters, with 25 ships planned for the class. It will provide the majority of offshore presence by the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet, assisting in missions ranging from combating transnational organized criminal networks off Central America to patrolling in the increasingly accessible Arctic.
“Northrop Grumman’s C4ISR and control systems architecture for OPC is innovative, affordable and open,” said Todd Leavitt, vice president, maritime systems, Northrop Grumman. “FCDR approval establishes a C4ISR/control systems design baseline that fulfills the newest generation of Coast Guard mission requirements, and is easily scalable for future platforms.”
FCDR was held on June 27-28, with OPC Production Readiness Review to follow later this year. Northrop Grumman will operate the OPC Test and Integration Facility for C4ISR, and the Land-Based Test Facility for control systems, at their facility in Charlottesville.
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)