Eastern Shipbuilding Group has brought in British company Babcock International to provide platform engineering design for the design and construction phases of the United States Coast Guard’s new Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) class vessels.
Under the contract, Babcock will deliver a whole ship 3D model, selected systems and production support as part of the new design work, including detailed design of auxiliary systems, structure, outfit and electrical systems.
The company also said the part of the work will be subcontracted to VARD, which earlier worked with Babcock to develop offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Irish Navy.
Production of the lead U.S. Coast Guard cutter is due to start in late 2018, with completion set for 2021. Up to eight follow-on ships are included in this initial contract. The United States Coast Guard plans to build up to 25 OPCs.
“We are pleased to congratulate Eastern Shipbuilding Group on winning this prestigious contact and look forward to supporting them to deliver what the US Coast Guard describes as its “highest investment priority,” Jon Hall, managing director of technology at Babcock said.
“Our key role is to support the cost-effective design and build of the new ships. This will enable Eastern Shipbuilding Group to deliver all of the Coast Guard’s OPCs, helping to support America’s maritime security and economic interests for future generations.”
The OPC incorporates as many systems and parts as a light frigate or offshore patrol vessel, and is comparable in size at about 110m length, 4,000 tonnes displacement. It will have a range of 10,200 nautical miles, while carrying a helicopter, boats and unmanned systems. Each OPC will feature a flight deck, weapons and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.