US Coast Guard orders additional six fast response cutters

The US Coast Guard most recently commissioned its 22nd FRC, USCGC Bailey Barco, in Juneau, Alaska, on June 14. Photo: US Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard has awarded Bollinger Shipyards a $289 million contract, exercising an option to acquire six more fast response cutters (FRCs).

With this order, the number of FRCs delivered and on order so far was brought to 44.

The main FRC contract, worth $1.5 billion if all options are exercised, allows the U.S. Coast Guard  to order up to 58 cutters.

The FRCs are being acquired to replace the 1980s-era Island-class 110-foot patrol boats. FRCs feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; over-the-horizon cutter boat deployment to reach vessels of interest; and improved habitability and seakeeping. The cutters are designed for multiple missions, including drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense.

Twenty-two FRCs are in service, with six stationed in Miami; six in Key West, Florida; six in San Juan, Puerto Rico; two in Cape May, New Jersey; and two in Ketchikan, Alaska. Future FRC homeports include: Pascagoula, Mississippi; Atlantic Beach, North Carolina; San Pedro, California; and Honolulu.

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