Eastern Shipbuilding Completes OPC Final Critical Design Review for Coast Guard
PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) successfully conducted its Final Critical Design Review (FCDR) with the U.S. Coast Guard on June 29 for the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Program, the company announced in a July 9 release. This accomplishment comes after a week of discussions, demonstrations and design presentations by ESG’s design team to the Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security.
The purpose of the FCDR is to verify that the OPC detail design is integrated and internally consistent with the Coast Guard’s requirements and points toward the exercise of the contract option for construction of the first hull, USCGC Argus. Construction of the lead vessel is anticipated to start after the contract option is exercised with delivery in 2021.
“This major milestone for the OPC program was achieved on time and our design was found to be ready for the next milestone, Production Readiness Review [PRR] on July 31,” said ESG President Joey D’Isernia. “We will continue to work closely with the Coast Guard to make the design more affordable to build and develop refinements to improve mission effectiveness. Today’s success could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication exhibited by the members of both the ESG and Coast Guard project teams. We are eager to take the next step with PRR and start of construction and look forward to an exciting fall for the Coast Guard and Eastern Shipbuilding.”
The OPC is designed to conduct multiple missions in support of the nation’s maritime security and border protection. The OPC will provide a capability bridge between the national security cutter, which patrols the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments, and the fast response cutter, which serves closer to shore. The OPC design includes the capability of carrying an MH-60 or MH-65 Helicopter and three operational over-the-horizon small boats. The vessel is also equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system and, command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance suite that will enhance capabilities to execute the service’s missions.On Sept. 15, 2016, the Coast Guard exercised the detail design contract option to ESG, which currently is finalizing its design to construct the OPCs to replace the medium-endurance cutters currently in service. The contract includes options for production of up to nine vessels and has a potential total value of $2.38 billion.
On Sept. 7, 2017, the Coast Guard exercised ESG’s contract option for long-lead-time material for the first OPC. The Coast Guard plans to acquire a total of 25 OPCs.