HII Completes Sea Trials on Fourth National Security Cutter

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Fourth National Security Cutter

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today the successful completion of builder’s sea trials for the company’s fourth U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter, Hamilton (WMSL 753). The ship, built by HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division, spent three full days at sea testing all of the ship’s systems.

“It’s a team effort to bring one of these magnificent ships to life, and the NSC team has performed superbly—from the first cut of steel to the completion of a very successful builder’s trials,” said Jim French, Ingalls’ NSC program manager. “The NSC team continues to improve performance from ship to ship. By keeping the same management team and many of the craftsmen building each NSC, we have been able to incorporate hundreds of lessons learned, resulting in a significant learning curve improvement since the first NSC.”

While underway, Ingalls’ test and trials team conducted extensive testing of the propulsion, electrical, damage control, anchor handling, small boat operations and combat systems. This culminated in the successful completion of a four-hour, full-power propulsion run.

“The ship and the Ingalls/Coast Guard team performed flawlessly,” said Richard Schenk, Ingalls’ vice president, program management and test and trials. “Our operating crew performed more than 180 events and showed tremendous professionalism. The ship is clearly ready for acceptance trials in August.”

Ingalls has delivered the first three NSCs, and three more are currently under construction. A seventh NSC, Kimball WMSL 756, is scheduled to begin construction in early 2015.

“The NSC team’s passion toward the everyday work on this ship and their ability to work as one integrated team led to this success,” said Derek Murphy, Ingalls’ NSC program director. “We started off on a mission three years ago to improve over the last ship in all aspects, and quite simply, they nailed it. We’ll be putting on the final touches for fit and finish and selling the last few compartments to the Coast Guard in preparations for acceptance trials in August.”

Legend-class NSCs are the flagships of the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet. Designed to replace the 378-foot Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters that entered service during the 1960s, they are 418 feet long with a 54-foot beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 110.

NSCs are capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the High-Endurance Cutter. They include an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary-wing aircraft.

The Legend class is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. NSCs play an important role enhancing the Coast Guard’s operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
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