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Caterpillar Engines Chosen To Power New Generation Of Buoy Tenders

Caterpillar's Defense and Federal Products is supplying Marinette Marine Corporation propulsion engines and generator sets on the lead ship of a new planned fleet of approximately 18 U.S. Coast Guard Seagoing Buoy Tenders. Called "WLBs" by the Coast Guard, these vessels maintain the nation's buoys and other navigational aids used by all ships entering our ports.

By 1994, many of the existing seagoing buoy tenders will be more than 50 years old. Caterpillar has been involved since 1989 in the U.S.C.G.'s program to replace the existing 27 WLBs.

The newly designated Juniper class of Seagoing Buoy Tenders represents the U.S. Coast Guard's efforts to incorporate the technological progress of the last 50 years. The new 225-foot WLBs will be longer and faster than the 180-foot World War II vintage buoy tenders in service today. They will also require a smaller crew due to lower maintenance requirements. Their new global positioning electronics package, along with bow and stern thrusters, will allow faster and more accurate placement of buoys.

The new WLBs' modern design will enable these tenders to perform their job in rough weather. In addition to a new capability to respond to oil spills, the new WLBs will still be able to break ice, respond to search and rescue missions, and participate in law enforcement and national defense missions. The first ship of this new fleet will be operational by the fourth quarter of 1994.

Entirely Cat Diesel powered, the vessel will use five Caterpillar engines. Propulsion power is provided by two model 3608 marine diesels, each rated at 3,100 bhp. Two model 3508 marine generator sets, each rated at 450 ekW, provide auxiliary power, and emergency power is supplied by a model 3406 marine diesel USCG Juniper class Seagoing Buoy Tender (WLB), powered by Caterpillar engines. generator set rated at 250 ekW.

This program represents Caterpillar's first opportunity to put 3600 family engines (the largest Caterpillar diesel engines) into U.S. Coast Guard service.

This award continues the recent trend of Caterpillar successes with the U.S. Coast Guard, including repower of 39 Point class patrol boats with 2 x 3412 engines each, replacement of competitive engines with 2 x 3516 each in 12 Island class patrol boats, and provision of 3412 repower kits for six WYTL tugs.

The 3608 is the same engine used for the five ship's service diesel generator sets on the AOE-6 class of Fast Combat Support Ships in the U.S. Navy. Three of the six-cylinder versions (3606) power the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tug, MTV Mississippi, the largest tug on the inland waterways. More than 50 x 3600 series engines have now been placed in service in different agencies of the U.S. Government around the world.

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