US Coast Guard starts structural enhancement of second national security cutter

USCGC Waesche. Photo: US Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard’s second national security cutter (NSC), USCGC Waesche, arrived at Vigor Marine LLC’s Seattle shipyard on September 12 to begin structural enhancement work.

The first NSC, USCGC Bertholf, also underwent structural enhancement work and is planned to depart the shipyard later this month.

The enhancements take approximately a year to complete and are aimed at addressing fatigue life concerns identified in the original NSC design.

It was determined during the early stages of NSC production that the cutters’ design would need structural modifications in some areas in order to achieve a 30-year design fatigue life.

The Coast Guard and the shipbuilder completed additional analyses and engineering efforts to address the fatigue life concerns, resulting in the incorporation of structural enhancements into regular production during the construction of the third NSC, Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. Stratton and all subsequent NSCs have the enhancements already installed. Bertholf and Waesche were unable to receive the structural enhancements during production due to construction timelines.

Bertholf and Waesche are two of the four NSCs based in Alameda, California. Two NSCs are based in Charleston, South Carolina, and the next two to enter service will be based in Honolulu.

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