VT Halter Marine and DCNS to Partner for OPC Bid

Navyrecognition.com is reporting that VT Halter Marine is teaming with French shipbuilder DCNS to offer a design for the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC).

VT Halter Marine, Inc. (VT Halter Marine), a subsidiary of VT Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced its partnership agreement with DCNS to submit a proposal to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the design and construction of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC). VT Halter Marine will be the prime contractor and DCNS will be its exclusive subcontractor for the OPC platform design.

This should not come as a surprise. Almost two years ago DCNS posted a design and indicated they were interested in partnering. Below is the illustration they offered at the time, and it looks very much like the same ship. If so, it is 100 meters in length and 3,700 tons. DCNS is also produced the Gowind series of proposed Corvette and OPV designs including L’Adroit, which was built on speculation and is currently on loan to the French Navy. One of their designs, which looks similar to the illustration has also been reportedly selected by the Malaysian Navy for six proposed “Littoral Combat Ships.”

One of the unique features of L’Adroit is the single integrated mast/sensor array, which is also apparently included in this design.


Thanks to Xav for bringing this to our attention.

37 thoughts on “VT Halter Marine and DCNS to Partner for OPC Bid

  1. Chuck,
    I would not be surprise of DCNS gives VT Halter the version of the Corvette GOWIND® COMBAT. Which I think is almost similar to Offshore Patrol Cutter that DCNS is designing. I also think it’s the same version that Royal Malaysian Navy is getting, called the Littoral combat ship. So we could wind up with a version that the Royal Malaysian Navy is getting.

  2. Aside from the different equipment, they would also certainly change the propulsion to match the Coast Guard’s lower speed but greater endurance requirements. There is also the additional CG requirement that the ships be ice strengthened.

      • I think they will be identical in Hull form, but what goes inside would be totally different from the US Coast Guard version and the Royal Malaysian Navy’s version. I would have thought DAMEN would push their Holland class OPC and SIGMA corvette to the US Coast Guard. I never expected DCNS and VT Halter Marine.

      • There are several more shipyards out there we have not heard from yet, and some, perhaps most will not be making public what they are offering, so it is still probable Damen will partner with a yard in the US.

      • Who are you betting what Shipyard Damen will Partner with to build the SIGMA or Holland class OPC in the US, BIW or Todd Shipyards.

      • Todd no longer exist, it was taken over by Vigor. The larger US yards like HII and BIW are both quite capable of coming up with their own designs, but the smaller US yards that can use some advice, Bollinger for one, might offer a Damen design, since they have worked with them in the past. Still don’t expect the result to look exactly like anything already out there.

      • Chuck, to me it looks like the USCG design has two “islands” while the Malaysian navy one has a single “structure”. The Hangar area and the main structure (where the mast is) may not be directly connected on the OPC design. What do you think?

      • @Xav. The Malaysian design has the area where its boats and davits are, behind screens for purposes of stealth and above them is the anti-ship cruise missile launchers. The screens and the deck over the boat handling areas are both missing on the OPC illustration, but otherwise the stack and mast seem to be in a similar position. The OPC illustration also does not have the surface to air missile VLS forward of the bridge, but nice to know we could probably add additional weapons if things turn nasty.

      • I think which ever OPC we get, should have the capability to Launch and Recover UAV’s such as the ScanEagle and even UUV’s as well.

    • The requirement to be able to support UAVs is apparently in the spec. While I don’t believe there is a stated requirement for UUV support, it is likely possible, trading off against other capabilities. Right now it is not clear what kind of surface or underwater unmanned vehicle might be desirable so you can’t write specs for it.

      • Like I said, the Future OPC should have the capability to Launch & recover UAV and UUV’s as well. Think of would it be like to have a UUV to provide over the horizon underwater surveillance and tracking of drug subs or any ship. Even have the capability to do stand-off ISR of harbors, ports and even AOR’s. Even for a UAV like the Scan eagle, would be perfect for the FRC to NSC. It would provide instantaneous over the Horizon ISR capability for the FRC, OPC and NSC. Can you imagine an NSC having a scan eagle UAV for instantaneous, over the horizon ISR. Without having to get to close to what they are tracking. It should be written in the requirements that the future of the US Coast Guard cutters should have the capability of operating UAV’s and UUV’s.

  3. http://www.workboatshow.com/en/exhibitor-list?=&view=dbcboothdetail&eventid=375&boothid=207975&vtype=Product

    I found this hidden deep, Bollinger announcing partnership with Damen for the OPC. The picture is odd, I don’t fully recognize the parent class.

    Also, http://www.marinettemarine.com/opc.html, shows a concept for the Marinette concept. Their OPC team site is in development.

    Nothing from BIW/NASSCO, HISB, or ESB so far

    Interesting notes from the request for proposal, CG-9 is requiring all designs to use MAFO QAWTD’s http://www.mafo.nl/en/naval-closures/overview. DCPO(s) around the Coast Guard will really appreciate the reduced adjustments, lubricating, and making sure there is no paint on the seals.


    UUV’s for anything but ASW and mine sweeping is worthless. I don’t want it on my cutter, leave that to the Navy.

  4. Also, Scan Eagle is just an EO/IR with wings. Its great for watching a known target but worthless for searching an area. CG needs UAS to act as a patrol aircraft, thus why FIRESCOUT isn’t going live with DHS until the maritime ISAR radar is ready.

    Toys sound great but I’d much rather have a land based manned MPA or the Guardian UAS flying a large area than a toy flying my immediate area.

  5. Chuck,
    I saw this on the Defense Internet UK site, and thought the Black Swan Class Sloop of War is interesting as a smaller version of the NSC and perhaps could be an OPC varient of the old 311′ vessel size we once employed, with LCS type multipurpose mission modules and diesel electric propulsion. The flight deck is substantial to accomodate Chinook sized helos and the compartment below it has significant space for a variety of missions modules, as well as having stern launch capabilities for over the horizon small boats. See attached:

    Click to access 20120503JCN112_Black_SwanU.pdf

    • Mark, Thanks, I started looking at this earlier and never finished it. The line of thought corresponds to that of the CNOs resent discussion of “payloads vs platforms”–that is, that the ships should be thought of as trucks and that the load they carry is where the real power resides.

      Although the LCS program has had its problems, it appears modularity, particularly in the form of containerized support for unmanned systems, is going to figure prominently in future naval vessels.

      This works well for the Coast Guard’s possible role in war time, in that, peace or war, our ships transport the systems that carry out the missions, whether they are LE boarding teams, pollution clean up systems, ASW, or mine clearance UUVs.

      The Brits are planning a new class of ships they refer to as the MHPC for Mine Countermeasures, Hydrography, and Patrol Capability (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_the_Royal_Navy#Mine_Countermeasures.2C_Hydrography_and_Patrol_Capability_programme). In many respects it looks a lot like the “Black Swan” concept, and replaces several classes with a single hull that sounds close to the OPC but with more space for modular payloads.

    • Nicky, they are not making it yet, so far just a concept. This is being proposed as an alternative to DCNS’s L’Adroit to meet the French Navy’s BATSIMAR requirement “Batiment de surveillance maritime et de réponse”= “Maritime surveillance and response ship”

      The last two links are not on topic and I provided the first link as the first comment on this post.

    • So it seems DCNS has something other than the FREMM frigate design. It looks more like The Gowind combat corvette design that DCNS may push for the USCG. It might be something similar what DCNS is pushing for the Royal Malaysian Navy.

  6. Don’t know that it is related, but Tim Colton’s Maritime Memos is reporting that VT Halter has bought a new dry dock. http://www.coltoncompany.com/

    “VTHM Gets a Dry-Dock…As we reported a while back, VT Halter Marine is planning to expand into the ship repair business and we heard today that the company has now acquired a dry-dock. It’s a 14-year-old dock with a lift capacity of 12,000 tons, built in Indonesia but most recently operated by a yard in Vietnam. It’s currently being reconditioned and should arrive in June.”

  7. Pingback: Offshore Patrol Cutter Concepts | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

  8. Pingback: Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPC), the other LCS - CIMSECCenter for International Maritime Security

  9. Pingback: Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPC), the Other LCS | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

  10. Here is an update on the Malaysian Gowind project. It is probably similar to what VT Halter might have come up with for the OPC, less the missiles and ASW equipment of course. http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2698

    When the CG first fielded the 270s we had problems with green water coming over the bow and impacting the gun. The Malaysian frigate has a mounting that is intended to make the mount more stealthy, but it probably also protects the mount from heavy seas as well. That might be reason enough for the CG to do something similar.

    Their gun is the same 57mm we expect to have on the OPC.

    • Equip it with the Mk41, and fitted for the NSSM’s and it would be perfect for maritime security. fit it with 10 mk41 if you could for 20 ESSM’s and 5 ASROC’s.
      Have we ever tested the asroc against a surface ship before?

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  12. Would not use ASROC against a surface ship, because its payload is a light weight ASW torpedo. (Used to have the option of a nuclear depth charge too) The torpedo isn’t designed for use against surface ships. The Soviets did have a cruise missile that dropped a torpedo that was usable against either subs or surface ships.

    Incidentally the Mk 41 VLS are normally in groups of eight, so it is probably either eight or 16.

    On the other hand twelve Mk56 which can only use single ESSM are a planned upgrade for the Bertholf class NSCs.

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