The Northrop Grumman-built National Security Cutter
(NSC), Bertholf (WMSL 750), returned Monday after four days of builder's trials
in the Gulf of
Mexico. The ship's return to Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding's Gulf Coast
Operations here marks the latest milestone for the first NSC, which is
Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, a newly-formed sector of
Northrop Grumman Corporation, is made up of the former Northrop Grumman
Ship Systems and Newport News shipbuilding entities.
Bertholf is the first ship in the new class of highly capable,
technologically advanced, multi-mission cutters. The NSC was built
through the Deepwater Program under
contract from Integrated Coast
Guard Systems, a joint venture of Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin.
During the trial, extensive testing of propulsion, electrical,
damage control, and combat systems was conducted. This culminated in
the successful completion of a four hour full power trial,
standarization trials as well as 57 mm gun and close-in weapon systems.
This is the second round of sea trials for Bertholf, which
completed machinery trials in December 2007. The NSC started
fabrication in September 2004 and was christened at Northrop Grumman's
Pascagoula facility in November 2006. Bertholf will complete final
trials later this spring before delivery to the Coast Guard.
The NSC is a 418-foot vessel with a 4,300 ton displacement at
full load powered by a combined diesel and gas turbine power propulsion
plant driving twin screws with a maximum speed of 28 knots. The cutter
includes an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable
boats, an expansive flight deck able to accommodate a range of rotary
wing manned and unmanned aircraft and state of the art command and
control systems. In addition, the cutter features improved habitability
and a sailor-centric design to facilitate optimized crewing
enhance onboard quality of life for a mixed gender crew.