On October 15, 2016 the Coast Guard issued a notice to proceed with the detailed design of the Offshore Patrol Cutter to Eastern Shipbuilding. The OPCs will provide the majority of offshore presence for the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet, bridging the capabilities of the 418-foot national security cutters, which patrol the open ocean, and the 154-foot fast response cutters, which serve closer to shore. The Acquisitions Directorate, CG-9, has issued nine contracts for industry studies. The Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC), also known as the Heritage-class cutter or the Maritime Security Cutter, Medium (WMSM), is a new class of cutters being built as part of the U.S. Coast Guard Integrated Deepwater System program. Image: Eastern Shipbuilding Group. They will be very capable and are being built with several missions in mind. With some cutters exceeding 50 years of service, the Coast Guard must be upgraded to meet daily challenges and remain prepared for major contingencies. © Copyright 2021 Center for the National Interest All Rights Reserved. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University. The Heritage-class cutter, also known as the Offshore Patrol Cutter and the Maritime Security Cutter, Medium, is a cutter class of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), developed as part of the Integrated Deepwater System Program and built by Eastern Shipbuilding. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University. Within the Coast Guard mission scope is a balanced, yet crucial need to patrol both littoral and deep-water areas as part of an integrated operational approach, a task assigned to the services’ medium endurance cutters. ESG submitted a request on June 30, 2019, for extraordinary relief after its shipbuilding facilities sustained significant damages from Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm, in October 2018. The ship, to be named Chase (WMSM-916), is scheduled for delivery in 2023. Interest in building follow-on Offshore Patrol Cutters is definitely alive and well. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. With a total value of $10.5 billion, the Offshore Patrol Cutter (formally known as the Heritage (WMSM 915) class cutter) is a top Coast Guard procurement priority. March 20, 2020 — The Coast Guard announced the… As a service, the U.S. Coast Guard is at times under-recognized despite being increasingly in demand, as threats to the homeland continue to mount due to the growing global reach of major power rivals. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. Our key objectives have been to deliver affordable solutions and keep the program on track,” Michael Corrigan, Site Director of the Northrop Grumman facility in Charlottesville Virginia, where the equipment is built and tested, told The National Interest. Artist rendering courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding Group. Eastern Shipbuilding Group is constructing Heritage-class offshore patrol cutters (OPCs) for the US Coast Guard (USCG). A U.S. Coast Guard report on the ship had stated that the OPC will provide a capability bridge between the national security cutter which patrols the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments, to the smaller and the fast response cutters, which serve closer to shore. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. In addition, perhaps most of all, they regularly rescue people on the brink of death. Papp explained that the engineering vision for the ship has, since its inception, relied upon this tactical and technical approach emphasizing networking to, among other things, expand the surveillance reach for medium endurance cutters. “When you build a Navy ship, you have to focus on power and speed. All these contracts went to shipbuilder. Having spent years serving on and commanding now decades-old medium endurance cutters, Papp added that their surveillance capabilities were often limited to a surface ship radar “something inside of about 20 miles.”. Fairbanks Morse was awarded contracts by the prime contractor, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, to build the two main propulsion engines for both the OPC #1 and OPC #2. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. Hopefully this will lead to a better and more producible design. I have reproduced their report below. Construction of the first vessel in the class began in January 2019. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. “ESG came through with a great price for the government with a ship almost matching the operational capabilities of their largest assets, but offering a significant cost reduction in both construction and over the life of the vessel. Interestingly, Northrop Grumman has leveraged some of the commonality with cutting edge technology it has built into other Navy and Coast Guard ships to optimize technical performance and ensure sustained upgradeability. https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/.../Surface-Programs/Offshore-Patrol-Cutter Coast Guard’s programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). Packages of cocaine line the deck of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau after the crew, working in conjunction with the Panamanian Navy, intercepted and seized the contraband from suspected smugglers during a two-month patrol off the coast of Central and South America. WASHINGTON — The Coast Guard awarded a contract to Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., of Panama City, Florida, Thursday for the production of the lead Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) and up to eight follow-on cutters. Construction on the first ship in a new class of US Coast Guard cutters started with a steel cutting ceremony at Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s facilities in Panama City, Florida, on January 7. “The offshore patrol cutter will be the backbone of Coast Guard offshore presence and the manifestation of our at-sea authorities,” said Zukunft. The first cutter in the class of the new fleet, Argus, is slated to set sail at some point in 2022. The ceremony was performed and recorded without audience to comply with CDC guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19. “If you are doing surveillance, you can use the ship service generators and electrical power to cruise at a reasonable speed to preserve your fuel,” Adm. Robert Papp (RET), former Coast Guard Commandant and current President of the DC offices of ESG, told The National Interest. The US Coast Guard has awarded eight contracts to eight shipbuilders for Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) industry studies, in a bid to return the program back on track. In September 2016, Eastern Shipbuilding of Panama City, Florida, was awarded a $110.3 million contract to build the first Offshore Patrol Cutter with an option to purchase eight additional cutters. Panama City, FL – The keel laying ceremony for the US Coast Guard’s, first of class, Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) ARGUS (WMSM-915), was held on April 28, 2020 at Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s Nelson Street facility. You don’t have a supply ship so you must have room on board for fuel, food and supplies, and you need to conserve that fuel,” Papp said. The Coast Guard selected Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. (ESG) to build the ship, by choosing them to continue into phase 2 of the OPC development, which includes detail design and construction. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. April 30, 2020, by navaltoday. One of the things I focused on was I did not want to reduce future capabilities of any acquisitions program, while knowing we had to get the Coast Guard fantastic ships at affordable prices,” said Adm. Robert Papp (RET), former Coast Guard Commandant and current President of the DC offices of ESG. Offshore Patrol Cutter. Construction began in fiscal year 2018. “This is the largest acquisition in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard. The advanced networking and surveillance technology is of critical importance to the Coast Guard’s OPC vision, in part because the service is looking to acquire twenty-five new ships to replace an existing fleet of now less than thirty medium-endurance Hamilton cutters. Fairbanks Morse has completed the build and testing of the two main propulsion diesel engines for the U.S. Coast Guard’s offshore patrol cutter (OPC) #1. The steel cutting for offshore patrol cutter (OPC) Argus (WMSM-915) was a significant milestone for the company even after it sustained damage and work interruption due to … Northrop Grumman and ESG drew from state of the market technologies to build this ship. Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National Interest. The cutting of steel started the fabrication and assembly of the cutter’s hull, and ESG is to complete keel laying of Chase in 2021. Acquiring National Security and Fast Response Cutters; beginning production of Offshore Patrol Cutters, and constructing heavy icebreakers are crucial to national and homeland security. Offshore Patrol Cutter 1 of 1 DOWNLOAD HI-RES / PHOTO DETAILS Adm. Charles W. Ray, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, tours a replica of the first offshore patrol cutter's bridge at the Eastern Shipbuilding Group shipyard in Panama City, Florida, Thursday, March 14, 2019. OPC Phase II Detail Design Contract. There is where the Coast Guard’s emerging Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) enters the equation, a new ship envisioned as a more capable, better networked, larger and far more advanced, high- … Florida-based Eastern Shipbuilding Group has cut the first steel for the US Coast Guard’s (USCG) second offshore patrol cutter (OPC). © Copyright 2021 Center for the National Interest All Rights Reserved. At 360 feet, the ESG OPC is much larger than the 210-foot and 270-foot medium endurance cutters they are replacing and also engineered with an entirely new sphere of command and control systems, sensor technologies and networking applications. According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on January 21, 2021, the USCGC (United States Coast Guard Cutter) Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141), Patrol Forces Southwest Asia's first Sentinel-class cutter, was commissioned into service at Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, Thursday, January 21, 2021. Coast Guard photo by Caleb M Critchfield. This new dimension of technology is of great significance to Coast Guard planners, who anticipate that new levels of networked, yet disaggregated operations will increasingly be necessary. There is where the Coast Guard’s emerging Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) enters the equation, a new ship envisioned as a more capable, better networked, larger and far more advanced, high- tech medium endurance cutter than has ever existed. The Coast Guard—a component within the Department Homeland Security (DHS)—plans to spend over $12 billion over a period of 20 years to acquire a fleet of 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPC), its highest investment priority and largest acquisition program. The OPCs will conduct missions including law enforcement, drug and migrant … The Coast Guard awarded detail design for the Offshore Patrol Cutter to Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., on September 15, 2016. January 30, 2019, by navaltoday. The cutter is the first of six FRCs to be assigned to Patrol Forces Southwest Asia and stationed in Manama, Bahrain.. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2021 budget requests a total of $597 million in procurement funding for the NSC, OPC, and FRC programs. “Now, because of C4ISR and the ability to share satellite data and aircraft data, we can make our ships smarter. A Coast Guard essay on the OPC fleet mission objectives writes that “the OPCs will provide the majority of offshore presence for the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet, bridging the capabilities of the 418-foot national security cutters, which patrol the open ocean, and the 154-foot fast response cutters… The Navy has oilers that can refuel ships, whereas most Coast Guard ops are independent of the fleet. There is where the Coast Guard’s emerging Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) enters the equation, a new ship envisioned as a more capable, better networked, larger and far more advanced, high- tech medium endurance cutter than has ever existed. As part of its contribution, Northrop Grumman also provides the ship’s Computing Network System, Machinery Control System and Propulsion Control System along with the monitors and controls for the ship’s propulsion power plant. The U.S. Coast Guard helps intercept dangerous shipments of illegal drugs and supports the U.S. Navy securing international waterways, thwarting terrorism, crime and piracy. While smaller than some of the largest shipbuilders, ESG officials say the company is known for building highly complex ships of very high quality, on time and on budget, and has helped design the practical design and technological configuration of the ship. 2012. The Coast Guard’s now-under-construction and rapidly emerging Offshore Patrol Cutter ship (OPC) will hit the ocean next year, bringing new strategic and … The Coast Guard has picked the homeport for the service’s first pair of Offshore Patrol Cutters on the East Coast, the service announced on Wednesday. The total award was valued at $110.29 million. Working in close coordination with ESG to ensure that the ship’s technical infrastructure aligned with ESG’s structural vision for the ship, design specs and technical requirements, Northrop Grumman is building the Integrated Bridge System, an integrated set of technologies connecting the helm and control centers to the ship’s propulsion, steering and navigation. A need to optimize the scope of available resources and propulsion efficiency is part of why the new ESG ship is built with an auxiliary hybrid electric-diesel propulsion systems to increase efficiency and loitering capability, a first in the CG fleet. The Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Coast Guard, has granted extraordinary relief to Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) for work on the offshore patrol cutter (OPC) contract. The Coast Guard commissioned the 41st fast response cutter (FRC), Charles Moulthrope, in Portsmouth, Virginia, Jan. 21. The two OPCs will be based at Naval Station Newport, R.I., home of the Naval War College, Navy … A new GAO (Government Accountability Office) report into the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program is critical of several aspects of the acquisition strategy and makes eight recommendations that, it says, could reduce risk. In 2016, the Coast Guard awarded ESG with the contract to design and construct the first nine Offshore Patrol Cutters marking largest-ever vessel procurement contract ever … The service originally selected Eastern Shipbuilding Group as the preferred builder of the new class of cutters in 2016. This ongoing construction effort consists of an initiative to engineer new dimensions of ship technology through a collaborative partnership between Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) and Northrop Grumman, intended to provide the intelligence, reconnaissance, and communications systems to optimize ESG’s OPC vision and design for the ship. Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National Interest. The OPCs will be capable of performing a range of missions, including maritime patrol, fisheries protection, port security, disaster response, drug interdiction and … The Coast Guard’s now-under-construction and rapidly emerging Offshore Patrol Cutter ship (OPC) will hit the ocean next year, bringing new strategic and tactical dimensions to homeland defense and multi-service data sharing to the U.S. Navy and the Pentagon. Long Lead Time Materials (LLTM) was awarded in September 2017. Last week, the crew of a U.S. Coast Guard cutter arrested a fugitive murder suspect in an interdiction and boarding operation off the coast of Puerto Rico. However, the current fleet of twenty-nine legacy medium endurance cutters (which used to be thirty-three not too many years ago) have been in service for decades and are reaching obsolescence and are badly in need of replacement. USCG Offshore Patrol Cutter. 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