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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

US Coast Guard Orders Two More Fast Response Cutters

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 13, 2024

File photo: U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutter USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) transits the Strait of Hormuz in 2023. (Photo: Elliot Schaudt / U.S. Coast Guard)

File photo: U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutter USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) transits the Strait of Hormuz in 2023. (Photo: Elliot Schaudt / U.S. Coast Guard)

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has opted to extend its Sentinel-Class Fast Response Cutters (FRC) build program, exercising a contract option with Bollinger Shipyards for two additional vessels.

The move brings the total number of FRCs awarded to Bollinger up to 67 vessels since the program’s inception. To date, the U.S. Coast Guard has commissioned 55 FRCs into operational service.

“We’re incredibly proud of our long history supporting the U.S. Coast Guard that now stretches four decades,” said Bollinger Shipyards President and CEO Ben Bordelon. “Our unique experience building for the Coast Guard is unparalleled and has shown time and time again that we can successfully deliver the highest quality and most capable vessels.”

FRCs support the full range of missions within the Coast Guard and other branches of the U.S.' armed services. FRCs have conducted operations as far as the Marshall Islands—a 4,400 nautical mile trip from their homeport. Measuring in at 154-feet, FRCs have a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art C4ISR suite (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance), and stern launch and recovery ramp for a 26-foot, over-the-horizon interceptor cutter boat.

Both FRCs will be built at Bollinger’s Lockport, La facility that supports over 650 direct jobs in Lafourche Parish out of the nearly 4,000 shipbuilders supporting Bollinger’s 13 facilities across Louisiana and Mississippi.

Bordelon continued, “This program isn’t just an economic benefit for our region, but a national security priority that continues to enjoy the support of a bipartisan, bicameral coalition in the United States Congress. That being said, these additional vessels allow for the continued prosperity and economic wellbeing for over 650 families in South Louisiana. The hardworking men and woman of Bollinger Shipyards take tremendous pride in every single vessel we build and deliver for the U.S. government knowing we’re helping to keep our homeland safe.”

The FRC program has had a total economic impact of over $2 billion since inception in material spending and directly supports more than 650 jobs in Southeast Louisiana. The program has indirectly created 1,690 new jobs from operations and capital investment and has an annual economic impact on GDP of $202 million, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) on the economic importance of the U.S. Shipbuilding and Repair Industry. Bollinger sources over 271,000 different items for the FRC consisting of 282 million components and parts from 965 suppliers in 37 states.

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