The USCG says it has exercised a $179.7 million option with Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, La for the production of four additional Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs), bringing the total number of FRCs ordered by the USCG to twelve. The original $88 million FRC contract was signed in September 2008 and contained options for up to 34 cutters that, if exercised, would be worth up to $1.5 billion.
“This follow-on award will result in an extension of our backlog for several years, and provide jobs for over 500 Bollinger employees,” said EVP of Bollinger Shipyards, Chris Bollinger, in a press statement.
The lead ship in the Sentinel-class FRCs, named the Bernard C. Webber, was launched on April 21 and is set to undergo sea trials prior to its anticipated delivery later this year. The second FRC, Richard Etheridge, was launched August 18, and production is underway on FRCs #3-8. The FRCs acquired under this latest contract option are scheduled to be delivered to the Coast Guard in 2014 and homeported in Key West, Fla..
The Sentinel-class will eventually replace the Coast Guard’s Island-class 110-foot patrol boat. The FRC uses a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol 4708. It has a required flank speed of 28 knots and will be armed with one stabilized, remotely-operated 25mm chain gun and four crew-served .50 caliber machine guns. Other requirements include the ability to perform independently for a minimum of five days at sea and capable of underway operations for a minimum of 2,500 hours per year. It will use state-of-the-market command, control, communications and computer technology that will be interoperable with the Coast Guard’s existing and future assets, as well as Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense assets. The cutter will also meet American Bureau of Shipping design, build and class standards. The Coast Guard plans to acquire up to 58 FRCs.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Coast Guard also awarded a delivery order to Marinette Marine Corporation for the production of 11 additional Response Boats-Medium (RB-M) in a contract worth an estimated $24 million.