ESG: Steel Cutting for USCGC ARGUS is Underway
Eastern Shipbuilding Group reports that steel cutting for the first offshore patrol cutter (OPC), Coast Guard Cutter ARGUS (WMSM-915), commenced on January 7, 2019 at Eastern’s facilities.
ESG successfully achieved this milestone even with sustaining damage and work interruption due to Hurricane Michael.
The cutting of steel will start the fabrication and assembly of the cutter’s hull, and ESG is to complete keel laying of ARGUS later this year. Additionally, ESG completed the placement of orders for all long lead time materials for OPC #2, Coast Guard Cutter CHASE (WMSM-916).
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, which patrols the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments, and the fast response cutter, 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 small boats. The vessel is also equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system and C4ISR suite that will enhance capabilities to execute the service’s missions.
On September 15, 2016, the Coast Guard exercised the option for detail design on Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s OPC contract. Eastern Shipbuilding Group will construct the OPCs to replace the medium endurance cutters currently in service. The contract includes options for production of up to nine vessels with options for two additional vessels. The Coast Guard plans to acquire a total of 25 OPCs.
OPC Characteristics at glance ...
- Length: 360 feet
- Beam: 54 feet
- Draft: 17 feet
- Sustained Speed: 22 Plus knots
- Range: 8500 Plus nautical miles
- Endurance: 60 Days