The following is text of a news release from Eastern Shipbuilding Group:
(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — Eastern Shipbuilding has announced that the U.S. Coast Guard has executed a modification to the contract to build the second offshore patrol cutter (OPC) and obtain long lead time materials for the third OPC. These accomplishments result from successful completion of a production readiness review (PRR) in February.
"Today represents not only the continuation of production for the USCG’s future replacement of their 210-foot and 270-foot class medium endurance cutters, but also an important step in the continuing recovery of northwest Florida and ESG post-Hurricane Michael," said Eastern President Joey D’Isernia. "Looking back on the condition of our shipyard and our community immediately post Hurricane Michael in comparison to how far we have come, I could not be more proud of our team for what we have accomplished to date. We are excited about the future of this program and will continue to work diligently with our vendor network from 29 other states to produce high quality, highly capable vessels for the men and women of the USCG.”
The OPC 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 Coast Guard exercised the option for detail design on Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s OPC contract. Eastern Shipbuilding Group will construct the offshore patrol cutters to replace the medium endurance cutters currently in service. The contract includes the production of up to four vessels.