Huntington Ingalls Industries and its Ingalls Shipbuilding division are set to authenticate the keel for the seventh U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter, Kimball (WMSL 756), on Friday, March 4.
Admiral Paul Zukunft, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, is the ceremony’s keynote speaker. Kay Bowen Webber Cochran, wife of Senator Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is the ship sponsor and will have her initials welded onto a keel plate at the end of the ceremony.
The ship is named in honor of Sumner Kimball, who organized and directed the U.S. Life Saving Service and was a pioneer in organizing all of the different facilities associated with the service into what eventually would become the U.S. Coast Guard.
Legend-class NSCs are the flagships of the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet. Designed to replace the 378‐foot Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters that entered service during the 1960s, they are 418 feet long with a 54-foot beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 110.
Out of the eight envisioned cutters, five are already in service, two are under construction and one is on order. The first Legend-class cutter, USCGC Bertholf, entered service in August 2008.