The U.S. Coast Guard awarded
a contract totaling $144 million to Integrated Coast Guard Systems
for production and deployment of the Coast Guard’s second Maritime Security Cutter Large
. The WMSL is the largest of three new cutter classes -- and the first under construction -- within the Coast Guard’s Integrated Deepwater System acquisition program.
The Deepwater program will improve the Coast Guard’s counter terrorism, maritime homeland security and overall mission performance capabilities. “The Deepwater program is vital to transforming the Coast Guard and ensuring the delivery of required capabilities needed for the performance of homeland security and other missions,” said Adm. Thomas H. Collins, commandant of the Coast Guard. “The system of systems approach is the most prudent, cost effective and efficient manner to transform the Coast Guard.”
The WMSL characteristics include: a length of 425 feet, a draft of 21 feet, a speed of 29 knots, stern launch ramp, 57mm and .50 calibers guns and dual helicopter hanger capability for both a multi-mission helicopter and unmanned air vehicles.
Fabrication of the first WMSL began in September 2004, with the ship delivery scheduled in 2007. The anticipated delivery schedule for the second WMSL is late 2008.
The Deepwater system's integrator, ICGS, is an equal partnership between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. ICGS will subsequently issue subcontracts for Northrop Grumman Ship Systems to lead the WMSL production efforts in Pascagoula, Miss., while Lockheed will assume primary responsibility for integrating the ship into the system-wide command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance architecture, also known as C4ISR.