Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) announced it has completed its final critical design review (FCDR) for the US Coast Guard’s offshore patrol cutter (OPC) program.
The FCDR was accomplished on June 29, 2018, after a week of discussions, demonstrations, and design presentations by ESG’s design team to the USCG and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
FCDR is conducted to verify that the OPC detail design is integrated and internally consistent with the USCG requirements and points towards the exercise of the contract option for construction of the first hull USCGC ARGUS.
Construction of the lead vessel is anticipated to start after the contract option is exercised with delivery in 2021.
“This major milestone for the OPC program was achieved on time and our design was found to be ready for the next milestone, production readiness review (PRR) on July 31, 2018,” ESG’s president Joey D’Isernia noted.
The US Coast Guard’s new OPCs will provide a capability bridge between the national security cutter, which patrols the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments, and the fast response cutter, which serves closer to shore. OPCs will replace the medium endurance cutters currently in service.
The OPC is designed to conduct multiple missions in support of the nation’s maritime security and border protection.
The OPC design includes the capability of carrying an MH-60R or MH-65 helicopter and three operational over-the-horizon (OTH) small boats. The vessel is also equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system and C4ISR (command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) suite that will enhance capabilities to execute the service’s missions.
Eastern Shipbuilding Group is currently finalizing its design to construct the ships. The contract includes options for production of up to nine vessels and has a potential total value of $2.38 billion dollars. The Coast Guard plans to acquire a total of twenty-five ships in the class.