Defense news is reporting the launch of the second of four ships being built for the Turkish Coast Guard at a total cost of $480M (same as the cost of one NSC). These ships are similar to the projected Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) and are based on a design by Fincantieri also built for the Italian Navy (four ships) and the Italian Ministry of Transport (two ships).
Fincantieri is Italy’s leading shipbuilder, building a range of ships from aircraft carriers and frigates to offshore patrol vessels. Its Manitowoc Marine Group through its Marinette Marine shipyard, is one of nine shipbuilders that have expressed an interest in building the OPCs. They have also, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, recently been contracted for options to build ten additional Freedom (LCS-1) class ships for the Navy. Marinette Marine has also been building Coast Guard Response Boat, Mediums. Before being acquired by Fincantieri Marinette Marine also built 225 ft buoy tenders and the icebreaker Mackinaw (WLBB-30).
I haven’t been able to find out how the Turkish units are equipped. There seem to be very significant differences between the Italian Navy units and those built for the Ministry of Transport. The specs for the Italian Navy version are as follows:
- Crew: 80 total including 8 officers
- Overall Length: 88.4m (292 ft)
- Length at Waterline: 80.3m (265 ft)
- Beam: 12.2m (40.26 ft)
- Draught: 4.6m (15.2 ft)
- Full Load Displacement: 1,520 tons
- Armament: 1×76 mm, 2x25mm
- Speed: 25 knots
- Range: 3,500 nmi
- Helo deck and hanger for NH90 (essentially the same size as an MH-60)
Slightly smaller, with less endurance and probably not quite up to the level of seakeeping the Coast Guard has been looking for, but still interesting ships, and if they do make an offer on the OPC, their proposal is likely to be based on this design.
Marinette is also building a 260 foot ice capable vessel for the National Science Foundation. I’ll post about it soon.