The following is the text of a news release from Huntington Ingalls Industries:
(PASCAGOULA, Miss.) — Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division launched the U.S. Coast Guard’s newest national security cutter, Munro (WMSL 755), on Saturday. Munro is the company’s sixth NSC and is expected to deliver by the end of next year.
“The national security cutter program is in a very mature state,” said Derek Murphy, Ingalls’ NSC program manager. “NSC 6 is the most complete ship at launch, and we accomplished this a week earlier than scheduled. Our shipbuilders continue to improve the learning curve, and the national security cutter program illustrates the cost savings and first-time quality that comes from serial production. Our learning curve is the best it has been on this program, and we look forward to continuing this trend on future Coast Guard ships.”
Munro was translated via Ingalls’ rail car system to the floating dry dock one week prior to launch. The dock was moved away from the pier and then flooded to float the ship. With the assistance of tugs, Munro came off the dock Saturday morning.
“All of the folks working the translation and launch worked diligently to ensure the process was done in the most efficient manner possible, and that’s exactly what happened,” said Jason Frioux, Ingalls’ NSC 6 program integration manager. “Now our NSC 6 team will continue this effort so this ship will be ready for sea trials and delivery next year. Everything we are doing on a day-to-day basis matters because we want to ensure the men and women of the Coast Guard will have a safe and quality ship to support their homeland security missions.”
Ingalls has delivered the first five NSCs and has three more under construction, including Munro. The seventh ship, Kimball (WMSL 756), is scheduled for delivery in 2018. The eighth NSC, Midgett, will start fabrication in November.
Munro is named to honor Signalman 1st Class Douglas A. Munro, the Coast Guard’s sole recipient of the Medal of Honor. He was mortally wounded on Sept. 27, 1942, while evacuating a detachment of Marines on Guadalcanal.
Legend-class NSCs are the flagships of the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet. Designed to replace the 378‐foot Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters that entered service in the 1960s, they 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 110.
NSCs are capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the high-endurance cutter. They include 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. The Legend class 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. NSCs play an important role enhancing the Coast Guard’s operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.
To view a video of the translation and launch, click here.