The following is the text of a news release from Huntington Ingalls Industries:
(PASCAGOULA, Miss.) — Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division launched the national security cutter Kimball (WMSL 756) on Saturday. Kimball is the seventh NSC Ingalls has built for the U.S. Coast Guard; christening is scheduled for March 4.
“This is an important milestone for Kimball and the national security cutter program,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. “The hot NSC production line we have at Ingalls, with six ships delivered and two more under construction, is allowing us to build these highly capable ships in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.”
Kimball was translated via Ingalls’ rail car system to the floating dry dock last week, and the dock was moved away from the pier on Saturday morning. With the assistance of tugboats, Kimball launched off the dock on Saturday afternoon.
“Our crew works hard to make sure these translations and launches go as smoothly as possible, while incorporating lessons learned from previous ships so we become that much more efficient,” said Derek Murphy, Ingalls’ NSC program manager. “After a successful launch, there is still much work to be done. We are now focused on the upcoming milestones such as first fuel, generator and engine light-offs, and sea trials.”
The ship is named in honor of Sumner Kimball, who organized and directed the U.S. Life Saving Service. He was a pioneer in organizing all of the different facilities associated with the service into what eventually became the U.S. Coast Guard.
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 110.
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 U.S. Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions.
Click here to view a video of the launch.