Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division received a $76.8 million fixed-price contract from the U.S. Coast Guard to purchase long-lead materials for Kimball (WMSL 756), the company's seventh National Security Cutter (NSC). Construction and delivery will be performed at the company's Pascagoula facility.
"This advance procurement contract allows us to maintain production line and supplier base momentum while we prepare for the ship construction contract," said Jim French, Ingalls' NSC program manager. "Advance procurement funding helps us procure equipment and materials at favorable prices from our suppliers, and it keeps their production line flowing as well. The Coast Guard continues to report their satisfaction with these ships, and we remain focused on improving our performance."
The advance procurement funds will be used to purchase major items for Kimball, such as steel, the main propulsion systems, generators, electrical switchboards and major castings.
Ingalls has delivered three NSCs, designed to replace the 378‐foot Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters that entered service during the 1960s. Ingalls' fourth NSC, Hamilton (WMSL 753), will launch later this year and be christened on Oct. 26. The keel was recently laid on the fifth cutter, James (WMSL 754), and construction will begin on the company's sixth cutter, Munro (WMSL 755), later this year.
Ingalls will continue to work with Lockheed Martin, which provides the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities.
NSCs, the flagship of the Coast Guard's cutter fleet, 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.
The Legend-class NSC is capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the High-Endurance Cutter, Ingalls said. The cutter includes 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. According to Ingalls, it is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the U.S. Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. This class of cutters plays a role in enhancing the Coast Guard's operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.