OPV (OPC) International Solutions Posted on July 11, 2010 by Chuck Hill Here is a thread with some great pictures of other country’s solutions to the requirements for an offshore patrol vessel. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Related
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That is a good link, but the whole OPC program is a disappointment. Going with an OTS design will result in lots of compromises. One of the interesting issues will be addressing the CG’s mission needs. This will surely result in a design with containerized modules, but that won’t come close to addressing several missions, which must be built into the hull.
I can’t help but think a few experienced Chiefs along with some CG Engineers could have banged out some requirements and worked with Navsea to finalize a design that shipbuilders could then bid on. At least that way the design would be good, and only the actual build would need to be monitored. Now, we get something OTS that will probably be mediocre (or a little better, but I doubt it will be great).
Actually there is no requirement to go “off the shelf,” but on the other hand, how long has it been since the CG designed a patrol ship? The last one was the 270 and I would have to call it was mediocre. Anything we come up with will be based on some ship already built because ship design is evolutionary, but modified to meet our needs.
Even the Navy doesn’t design their own ships anymore.
I do hope we will be very specific, and very firm, in our requirements as discussed here: http://cgblog.org/2010/07/08/12783/
Chuck, couldn’t agree more on your comments about the 270, but there’s been interesting discussion here about some of the motivations behind that design, and price pinching until it hurt and trying to save money on operating costs are two factors that must be farther down the list than #1 and #2 priority. If that can be accomplished, I think the CG could do the design better.
I’m not sure I agree so much about your comments on the Navy, and frankly, I think that one of the untapped resources the CG could lean on would be NavSea. Navsea possesses a LOT of resources which could greatly help in doing the engineering design of a CG OPC that would really fulfill all the requirements.
Bill, I don’t disagree about tapping the Navy’s expertise, perhaps someone with more current knowledge can comment here, but I think we have used them. But my comment that they do not design ships anymore is true. Their in house expertise was also gutted in the name of out sourcing.
The planning of replacement cutters should be in the tickler file of every commandant.
Captain Charles F. Shoemaker, USRCS, December 22, 1897. RCS Annual Report.
“No one of competent judgment will be found who will say that the vessels, at any time within 20 years, have been fit to perform the duty done in them. The measure of success obtained has been wholly due to the indefatigable labors of the personnel which fills the commissioned ranks of the service, and the faithful, trained and disciplined crews.”
‘ “Within the last three years, congress has authorized the building of seven new vessels, four of which have already been completed and are, in all particulars, swift, modern vessels, and in every way suited to the service.” ‘
Notice the recapitalization program. Some things never change.
That would include McCulloch, Comanche, Windom, Gresham, Manning, Algonquin, Onondaga?A very significant group. All about the size of a 210.
Found it interesting they went from authorization to completion in three years.
One thing about the old guard. Once they got approval they moved quickly to get them built. They learned that funding could disappear just as quickly.
In this case, Shoemaker, his Chief Engineer John Collins (a remarkable fella) and the Constructor James Lee knew something had to be done. Fourteen of the thirty-four cutters were wood. Another was wood with iron sheathing. All were old.
None of them were built with space and weight considerations. McCulloch was virtually unarmed when called to go to Manila — (in a piece of Coast Guard trivia) she fired the first shot in the battle there. She had been discovered sailing into Manila because of the flares from her stack. Her second Chief Engineer (the first one died of a heart attack during the battle) claimed it was the poor quality coal they got in Hong Kong. I suppose China has a long history of cheaply made goods.
It was just damn luck the Spanish did not shoot back. She could not take too great a hit.
I was surprised to learn that some of these ships were including McCulloch, Manning were “composite” construction meaning wooden planking over a steel or iron frame.
Here is a link to Google Books. It gives an article written by Chief Engineer Collins. The article is pretty much a public relations piece and you’ll see many similarities with what is produced today including the Coast Guard’s love of consensus history.
Collins explains the nature and reason for the “composite” construction. There are some good illustrations of period cutters. One is of Gresham cut in half to get through the canal from the Great Lakes. What is not told was that Constructor James Lee miscalculated the flotation needed for the bow section and it flipped and sank in 25 feet of water– Oops! Imagine someone loosing half their cutter today.
Darn. I forgot the link. http://books.google.com/books?id=XU_OAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA373&lpg=PA373&dq=Cassier%27s+Magazine+revenue+cutters&source=bl&ots=fsyZXQQzZy&sig=gvEcOm2N7wMOPt_-7e_e0JNImTs&hl=en&ei=nKQ_TN6GJ8T38Aadn-mbCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
If this does not work do a Google book search, cassier’s magazine revenue cutters
Bill thanks, I enjoyed the article. Surprised to find that the McCulloch was that fast. Over 17 knots on trials (assuming they didn’t cheat too much). I read else where, on the way to Manila Bay she was given two 3″ guns by two of the cruisers in the squadron.
It wouldn’t hurt the US Coast Guard if they went with the “off the Shelf” concept and the plug and play mentality. I would go with what’s current with Navies that use OPC and Corvette’s. Take their designs and modify them for Coast Guard use. I think they should come out with an OPC that has potential to expand with the ever growing naval technology and to be able to meet the ever growing technological expansion.
Respectfully, I disagree, greatly. “plug and play” works with software that can be programmed or reprogrammed. Ships are hardware. When the occasion arrises that the CG gets to buy new ships, they need to design them to last 50 years, because that may be how long they’re pressed into service. The CG’s missions are not unique, but the combination of missions seems to be rare, especially when covering the AO the USCG does. Because of this, combined with the length of service the ships are pressed to serve, it’s a great idea to build flexibility into the design, but the designs should be purpose-built, and built to last.