The fourth National Security Cutter Hamilton was delivered to the US Coast Guard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on Monday.
Hamilton will be the first of two NSCs to be homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. The cutter will be commissioned into service Dec. 6.
“After three years of fabrication and expert craftsmanship, Ingalls shipyard has delivered a great ship to the Coast Guard,” said Capt. Douglas Fears, the prospective commanding officer of Hamilton. “The Coast Guard’s Project Resident Office has fastidiously overseen the production of Hamilton through all key acquisition milestones.”
The cutter is now officially an asset of the Coast Guard and custody is turned over from the shipyard to its commanding officer and crew.
The Hamilton is the sixth cutter in Coast Guard history named after Alexander Hamilton, who as the first Secretary of the Treasury prompted Congress to create the Revenue Marine, a precursor to the modern Coast Guard.
The first three NSCs – Coast Guard Cutters Bertholf, Waesche and Stratton – are performing operations from their Alameda, California, homeport. The fifth NSC, James, is scheduled to be delivered in the summer of 2015. The keel laying for the sixth, Munro, is scheduled for later this fall, with delivery scheduled for 2016. The seventh, Kimball, is under production, and long lead time materials for the eighth, Midgett, have been ordered.
The Legend-class NSC is the largest multipurpose cutter in the Coast Guard fleet and is replacing the 378-foot high endurance cutter, which has been in service since the 1960s. The NSC is 418 feet long and has a top speed of 28 knots and a range of 12,000 nautical miles. It is capable of performing 60- to 90-day patrols.