Eastern Conducts OPC Final Critical Design Review for USCG
Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) said it has conducted its Final Critical Design Review (FCDR) with the U.S. Coast Guard on June 29, 2018 for the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Program.
This accomplishment comes after a week of discussions, demonstrations and design presentations by ESG’s design team to the USCG and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The purpose of the FCDR is to verify that the OPC detail design is integrated and internally consistent with the USCG requirements and points towards the exercise of the contract option for construction of the first hull USCGC Argus.
Construction of the lead vessel is anticipated to start after the contract option is exercised with delivery in 2021.
ESG’s president, Joey D’Isernia, said, "This major milestone for the OPC program was achieved on time and our design was found to be ready for the next milestone, Production Readiness Review (PRR) on July 31, 2018. We will continue to work closely with the Coast Guard to make the design more affordable to build and develop refinements to improve mission effectiveness.”
The OPC is designed to conduct multiple missions in support of the nation’s maritime security and border protection. The OPC will provide a capability bridge between the National Security Cutter (NSC), which patrols the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments, and the Fast Response Cutter (FRC), which serves closer to shore. The OPC design includes the capability of carrying an MH-60R or MH-65 Helicopter and three operational Over-The-Horizon (OTH) small boats. The vessel is also equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system and C4ISR (command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) suite that will enhance capabilities to execute the service’s missions.
On September 15, 2016 the U.S. Coast Guard exercised the Detail Design contract option to ESG in Panama City, Fla. The shipbuilder is currently finalizing its design to construct the OPCs to replace the Medium Endurance Cutters (WMEC) currently in service. The contract includes options for production of up to nine vessels and has a potential total value of $2.38 billion dollars. On September 7, 2017 the U.S. Coast Guard exercised ESG’s contract option for Long Lead Time Material (LLTM) for the first OPC, USCGC Argus. The Coast Guard plans to acquire a total of 25 OPCs.