Shipbuilding Launches Fourth U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter
Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division launched
the company's fourth U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter (NSC),
Hamilton (WMSL 753), on Saturday. "Launching a ship involves quite
a bit of logistics, and our team pulled this off in a very safe and
efficient manner," said Ingalls' NSC Program Manager Jim French.
"It's a weeklong process to first translate the ship across land
into our floating drydock and then going through an extensive ship-wide
check-out process to launch. The team's performance was outstanding,
and now we can focus on completing the ship and getting her to the Coast
Guard next year."
Ingalls Shipbuilding launched the fourth U.S. Coast Guard National Security
Cutter, Hamilton (WMSL 753), on Aug 10. Photo by Steve Blount
are the flagship of the Coast Guard's cutter fleet, designed to replace
the 378-foot Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters, which entered service
during the 1960s. Ingalls has delivered three.
"The NSC is a proven hull, and our Coast Guard customer is pleased
with the performance of the first three ships currently operating in
the fleet," French said. "We continue to improve across the
board in the construction of these cutters and this trend should continue."
Hamilton will be christened on Oct. 26 in Pascagoula by ship sponsor
Linda Kapral Papp, wife of Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., commandant, U.S.
Keel laying for Ingalls' fifth NSC, James (WMSL 754), took place on
May 17. The ship is currently 32 percent complete and will launch the
spring of 2014. Ingalls has started construction on nine units for NSC
6. An advance long lead material procurement contract has also been
awarded for a seventh NSC.
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 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. This class of cutters plays an important
role enhancing the Coast Guard's operational readiness, capacity and
effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never