The following is the text of a news release from Huntington Ingalls Industries:
(PASCAGOULA, Miss.) — Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division has officially started fabrication on the U.S. Coast Guard's seventh national security cutter (NSC), Kimball (WMSL 756).
"We continue to increase our learning on this shipbuilding program, fully capturing the affordable benefits of serial production," said Ingalls' NSC program manager Jim French. "While the official start fab requires 100 tons of steel to be cut for this ship, our shipbuilders have actually cut more than 474 tons so far on NSC 7. This paves the way for a successful three-year build on this ship."
Designed to replace the 378-foot Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters, Ingalls has delivered the first four ships in the class and is currently building three more NSCs, with advance procurement funding already secured for an eighth ship.
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 during the 1960s. The NSCs are 418 feet long with a 54-foot beam, displacing 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.
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 in enhancing the Coast Guard's operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.