The office of U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), acting as chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, announced Friday that the USCG has opted to build an additional six Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) at Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, La. under a follow-on construction contract worth an additional $250 million. Today’s announcement brings the total number of FRCs under contract from Bollinger to eighteen vessels, with a current contract value of $847 million.
“Acquiring funding for these fast response cutters was a high priority for me. These exceptional ships will replace a portion of the Coast Guard’s aging patrol boat fleet and ensure its ability to carry out critical lifesaving, law enforcement, and homeland security missions for decades to come,” Sen. Landrieu said. “What an extraordinary contribution for Louisiana to make to our national security.”
Sen. Landrieu’s office says that building the six ships in FY 2012, compared to four in FY 2011, will help fill the production line and generate savings of up to $5 million per ship, or a total savings of $30 million for taxpayers. The funding is also expected to create up to 800 additional jobs for Louisianians.
“From her role as chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Sen. Landrieu is in a unique position of influence, particularly over the Coast Guard’s budget. I want to thank her for her leadership in securing this funding and for her constant focus on what needs to be done for Louisiana and for our coast,” said Boysie Bollinger, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. “Bollinger Shipyard is proud to contribute to our country’s safety and security by building these six Fast Response Cutters for the Coast Guard.”
This latest round of funding was part of a total $8.9 billion in discretionary funding allocated to the Coast Guard in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s budget for FY 2012.
In total the Coast Guard plans to acquire up to 58 FRCs. In the FY 2013 Senate Homeland Security Appropriations bill, Sen. Landrieu included funding for another six Fast Response Cutters to be built in Louisiana, four above the President’s request.
To date, the Coast Guard has taken delivery of three FRCs from Bollinger Shipyards including the Bernard C. Webber, Richard Etheridge, and the William Flores, which is scheduled to be commissioned in November. The FRCs acquired under this contract option will be homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
About Sentinel-Class Fast Response Cutters
The Sentinel-class will eventually replace the Coast Guard’s Island-class 110-foot patrol boat and uses a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol 4708. It has a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology, and a stern launch system for the vessels 26 foot cutter boat. 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. The cutter will also meet American Bureau of Shipping design, build and class standards.
Builders Trials: Lead ship in the Sentinel-class of FRCs, Bernard C. Webber