US Coast Guard awards long lead contract for first offshore patrol cutter

National offshore patrol cutter design. Photo: Eastern Shipbuilding Group

The US Coast Guard has awarded Eastern Shipbuilding Group a contract modification to procure long lead time materials for the first offshore patrol cutter (OPC).

The total value of the option is $41.68 million. This covers the initial order of components and materials necessary to support the cutter’s construction including propeller and steering components, marine diesel engines, the ship integrated control system, switchboards and generators.

The OPC will bridge the capabilities of the national security cutters, which patrol the open ocean, and the fast response cutters, which serve closer to shore.

The ships will replace the 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance cutters, which entered service 30 to 50 years ago. The Coast Guard plans to acquire 25 OPCs; the current contract covers detail design and production of up to nine of the cutters and has a potential value of $2.38 billion if all options are exercised.

The first OPC, Argus, is scheduled for delivery in 2021.

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