Eastern achieves OPC design milestone


The following is the text of a news release from Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG):

(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — Eastern Shipbuilding has successfully completed its initial critical design review (ICDR) milestone with the United States Coast Guard on July 21 for the offshore patrol cutter (OPC) program.

ESG’s accomplishment is noteworthy as it occurred on schedule and within the budget constraints set forth by USCG acquisition, and cleared the way to proceed to the next critical milestone known as final critical design review (FCDR). This accomplishment comes after a weeklong group of discussions, demonstrations and design presentations by ESG’s design team to the USCG ship design team, project management staff, and Department of Homeland Security. The purpose of ICDR is to verify that the OPC detail design is integrated and internally consistent with the USCG requirements

This major program milestone culminates 10 months of detailed design and was a pre-requisite for award of the long lead time material (LLTM) contract to Eastern Shipbuilding this September. Construction of the lead vessel is anticipated to start in August 2018 with delivery in 2021.

"This major milestone for the OPC program was achieved on time and our design was found to be compliant and affordable by the Coast Guard," said ESG President Joey D’Isernia. "We will continue to work closely with the USCG to ensure that this positive momentum is carried through the completion of the detail design phase and into the construction phase of the offshore patrol cutter. Today's success could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication exhibited by the members of both the ESG and USCG project teams. Our strong and collaborative working relationship with the USCG is the direct result of two focused groups working toward a common goal. The future is indeed bright for the OPC program."

The OPC vessel is designed to conduct multiple missions in support of the nation’s maritime security and border protection. The OPC 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. 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 suite that will enhance capabilities to execute the service’s missions.

On Sept. 15, 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard awarded a detail and design contract to Eastern Shipbuilding Group. Eastern is currently finalizing its design to construct the offshore patrol cutters to replace the medium-endurance cutters currently in service. The contract includes options for production of up to nine vessels and has a potential total value of $2.38 billion. The Coast Guard plans to acquire a total of 25 offshore patrol cutters.

OPC characteristics:
•Length: 360 feet
•Beam: 54 feet
•Draft: 17 feet
•Sustained speed: 22-plus knots
•Range: 8,500-plus nautical miles
•Endurance: 60 days

By Professional Mariner Staff