Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division has started fabrication on the U.S. Coast Guard's sixth National Security Cutter (NSC), 'Munro'.
Designed to replace the 378-foot Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters, the NSCs 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.
"Our shipbuilders have a great jump start on the construction of this ship as we have already cut and processed more than 400 tons of steel for NSC 6," said Jim French, Ingalls' NSC program manager. "We are seeing improved efficiencies across the board in National Security Cutter construction as this program matures and we leverage lessons learned from one ship to the next. The benefits of serial production demonstrated in this program are a win-win for our Coast Guard customer and the shipbuilder."
Ingalls is currently building three NSCs and has delivered three that are serving as the flagships of the Coast Guard's cutter fleet. An electronics light-off milestone, where the ship's electrical system is powered up for the first time, was recently achieved on Ingalls' fourth NSC, Hamilton, and the ship will be christened on Oct. 26.
Ingalls' fifth NSC, James, has over 70 percent of its units erected and will launch in the spring of 2014. A long-lead material contract, which allows major equipment such as the main propulsion systems, generators and electrical switchboards to be ordered in advance, was awarded in June for a seventh NSC.
The Legend-class NSC is capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the high-endurance cutter.