The U.S. Coast Guard awarded a fixed‐price incentive firm target contract valued at approximately $487.1 million to Huntington Ingalls Industries for the production of the sixth National Security Cutter (NSC). NSC 6 will be built at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
Two NSCs are currently in production. The Coast Guard awarded the production contract for NSC 4 in November 2010 and production of that vessel is approximately 39% complete to date. The Coast Guard awarded production for NSC 5 in September 2011. NSC 5 is approximately 16% complete to date.
Three NSCs, the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, Coast Guard Cutter Waesche and Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, are fully operational and executing Coast Guard missions in the field. All three are homeported in Alameda, Calif. The Coast Guard plans to acquire eight NSCs.
The Coast Guard said that the NSC is the most capable vessel of its recapitalized surface fleet, featuring robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement and national defense missions. Each NSC is 418 feet long with an operational range of 12,000 nautical miles, a top speed of 28 knots and a 60‐day endurance. NSCs have berthing for up to 148 to accommodate additional personnel, such as law enforcement detachments. These technologically advanced vessels also are the first Coast Guard cutters to feature both a helicopter flight deck and a small boat stern launch allowing the deployment of boarding teams in worse weather than prior vessels. The NSC’s advanced command‐and‐control communications systems greatly improve its interoperability and information sharing with the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense and other operational partners.