We all know, the Coast Guard will continue to use cutters long after there nominal life. Maybe we should act on that, by looking at using more durable material. Marine Link talks about how making hulls of titanium could provide significant savings in the long run.
The proposed rationale for maintaining the option of up-arming cutters is also interesting.
I will just quote their conclusion, but take a look at the whole rationale.
“The bigger the Navy (and USCG combination), the cooler it gets. It especially argues for building lots of USCG cutter hulls, but leaving them mostly unoutfitted for naval combat. One can build 20 titanium USCG cutters for the life cycle cost of 10 steel hulls, and make them ready for sea, but only install one ship with the best weapons package. The world will know that you can build something that can dominate the battle space, but there is no need to fit all 20 with the latest and the greatest (which saves enough money to build a couple of additional hulls) if there is no immediate threat of war. Meanwhile the “enemy” will know that when they start to rattle their sabers you will not have 10 (if built in steel) obsolescent hulls, but instead will have access to more than 19 hulls that can be fitted with the hottest weapons much more quickly. This is a much better result than having 10 old “fancy steel” units and actually will defer cost until it is needed. This thinking already works with steel hulls, but if the hulls do not waste away it becomes even more cost effective and further strengthens Dr. Daidola’s argument.
“So here we have three clever engineers who have developed two independent USCG procurement approaches, which each save incredible amounts of money, and, when combined, save even more money.”