In October, I questioned why there seemed so be so little progress on the National Security Cutters.
In fact there has been a significant milestone. Monday the contract for the fourth National Security Cutter was awarded and the contract includes an option on the fifth ship. The Acquisition Directorate said , “The contract is a fixed price incentive type. It is the first National Security Cutter production contract to be awarded directly to the shipbuilder, outside of the Integrated Coast Guard Systems commercial lead-system integrator contract framework. The Coast Guard is the Systems Integrator for its recapitalization programs and is responsible for their management and execution.”
Rhode Islander hears from a relative, “Some long lead time equipments for NSC-4 (HAMILTON) have already been delivered to NORTHROP GRUMMAN SHIPYARD (NGSB), including the 2 main engines (MTU), all 3 caterpillar generators, all the reduction gears, the air conditioners, and pieces of the weapons systems. Therefore, you can conclude that NGSB should be ready to begin cutting steel on NSC-4 within a couple of months at the latest. Meanwhile, NSC-3 is proceeding well with key milestones such as generator light off and main engine light off occurring before Spring 2011, and Sea Trials still scheduled for latter next summer. Final delivery of STRATTON (WMSL-752) to the active duty Coast Guard crew should happen in less than a year.”
Hopefully, we won’t have to wait four years for HAMILTON (WMSL 753) to be delivered and given that the option has already been negotiated that number 5, JAMES (WMSL 754) will follow close behind.