Despite receiving no new procurement funding in the fiscal year 2021 budget request, the Coast Guard commandant said the Sentinel-class fast response cutter program is on track.
56 of the 64 units planned have been funded and 39 have been delivered. About 5 per year are being delivered so we can expected continued deliveries through at least 2023. It is possible a one year lapse in funding would not disrupt the orderly construction of these ships, but nevertheless the Commandant is hoping the Congress will once again, as they have frequently, add additional cutters.
Schultz said the service needed to free up dollars for other priorities such as polar security cutters, offshore patrol cutters and aviation. But he hopes procurement funding for fast response cutters will be added back in during the budget process.
It would be interesting to compare the repair costs alone for LCS (powerplant) versus how much it would have cost to replace the Cyclone-class with the FRCs. We’re giving up a lot of capability starting next year for broken replacements.
Grant, I presume you are saying the Cyclone class PCs are going away as the LCSs deploy.
Not sure yet when we will see the Webber class in SW Asia. Four are paid.
Yes sir, LCS are supposedly replacing the capability of the PCs. I’m unsure how a ship 10 times the size and 10 times the cost is an equitable replacement. All I know is that before I commissioned nearly 15 years ago I was told that LCS (commissioned the same year as me) would be everywhere in the Fleet by the time I was qualified. While they are indeed in the Fleet, certainly not forward or operational yet.
A good comparison would be the destroyers that are coming back from SOUTHCOM vice the LCS, and what their operational successes or failures look like.
LCS Sailors are amazing. The hulls and employment need some assistance. Until they get “right”, we should have looked at a 1-for-1 PC replacement. WPCs would have fit the bill nicely. And we missed the opportunity in FIFTH fleet. USCG replaced the 110s with FRC. Had we replaced our Cyclone class with gray WPCs, lots of efficiencies for those 16 ships in training and equipping in the Gulf.