US Coast Guard names first offshore patrol cutters

The U.S. Coast Guard on August 4 announced the names of the first 11 offshore patrol cutters that are set to start deliveries in fiscal year 2021.

Built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group, the cutters will be named Argus, Chase, Ingham, Pickering, Rush, Icarus, Active, Diligence, Alert, Vigilant and Reliance.

The Coast Guard’s new vessels will bridge capabilities between the national security cutter, which patrols the open ocean, and the fast response cutter, which serves closer to shore. The offshore patrol cutter will replace the service’s 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance cutters.

“The offshore patrol cutter will be the backbone of Coast Guard offshore presence and the manifestation of our at-sea authorities,” said Adm. Paul Zukunft, commandant of the Coast Guard. “It is essential to stopping smugglers at sea, for interdicting undocumented migrants, rescuing mariners, enforcing fisheries laws, responding to disasters and protecting our ports.”

According to the Coast Guard program, twenty five Offshore Patrol Cutters are planned to be built at a total cost of over 10 billion dollars.

The OPCs will be 360 feet long and 54 feet wide with a projected speed of 22 knots. The cutters will be capable of carrying an MH-60R or MH-65 helicopter and three OTH small boats.

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