The following is the text of a news release from Huntington Ingalls Industries:
(PASCAGOULA, Miss.) — Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division delivered the national security cutter James (WMSL 754) to the U.S. Coast Guard on June 5. In mid-July the ship will sail to its Aug. 8 commissioning site in Boston.
"Ingalls shipbuilders continue to prove they're committed to building the world's best ships," said Jim French, Ingalls' NSC program manager. "The national security cutter program continues to prove the benefits of continuous production, which allows us to learn and improve from ship to ship. From this learning, we are able to build quality ships affordably, safely and on schedule, all the while maintaining the industry standards. All of the Ingalls-built NSCs have been top quality, and James is no exception."
James will join the rest of the Legend-class fleet as the fifth national security cutter Ingalls has built for the Coast Guard. The Legend-class NSCs are meant to replace the 378-foot Hamilton-class cutters, which were first introduced in the 1960s. NSCs are 418 feet long with a 54-foot beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 120.
"This is a great day for our nation, for our Coast Guard, for Ingalls Shipbuilding and for the plankowner crew of the Coast Guard cutter James," said Capt. Andrew Tiongson, the ship's commanding officer. "A lot of people worked thousands of hours to get this point, and we thank you."
The cutter is named to honor Capt. Joshua James of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, who is credited with saving over 600 lives and is considered one of the most celebrated lifesavers in the world.
The Legend-class NSC is capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the high-endurance cutter. The cutter includes an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary-wing aircraft. It is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. The Legend class of cutters plays an important role in enhancing the Coast Guard's operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.