An artist's rendition of the Deepwater Program's Fast Response Cutter (FRC) design concept. (Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman)
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC)
's Ship Systems sector and Kockums AB
and its parent company, Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG
(HDW) signed a pact which is an expanded version of an earlier agreement and allows for the continued sharing of composite shipbuilding
technologies. The modified contract and an accompanying technology
license agreement extends the partnership to include cooperative work
in the design and construction of a composite lead ship technology
demonstrator of the Deepwater program's fast response cutter (FRC).
Upon approval by the Coast Guard, this ship will be the first in a
series of 150-foot fast patrol vessels that will eventually replace the
service's aging fleet of Island-class boats.
The original cooperative agreement, signed in October 2002,
covers the design, development, construction and sale of Visby-class
ships and/or derivative technology
to the U.S. government
and sales to
friendly international governments through the Foreign Military Sales
program. This agreement between the parties allows Northrop Grumman
and the U.S. government to take advantage of more than 30 years of
Kockums' experience and investment in developing all-composite,
corvette-sized monohull ships.
"We believe that composite technology is a perfect fit for the
U.S. Coast Guard's FRC Program," said Dr. Philip A. Dur, Northrop
Grumman corporate vice president and president of the company's Ship
Systems sector. "Our cooperative efforts with Kockums, the world
leader in composite maritime security and combatant construction, will
bring their proven experience to complement our company's strengths as
the leading U.S. provider of surface combatants and Coast Guard
"We are pleased that our partnership with Northrop Grumman Ship
Systems has now resulted in a concrete project focused on providing the
U.S. Coast Guard with new vessels built in composites," said Kockums
CEO Martin Hagbyhn. "This agreement sends important signals to our
export markets that our U.S. partner has, with this particular project,
decided to invest in composites and stealth technology. Kockums'
stealth concept has attracted considerable international attention, and
I am sure that we can offer our American partner much experience and
'know-how' in composite shipbuilding."