(Unfortunately the rendering that originally appeared here is no longer available. This is a later version which appears similar.)
The Acquisition Directorate has given us some more information on the proposed Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC), including some new renderings of its appearance and information on how it will use “green” technologies and concepts to reduce environmental impact.
I like the fact that the 57mm is up one deck from the foc’sle, because that will provide some protection from green water coming over the bow and, it will allow the weapon to train on targets at relatively close range over the bow. In fact the design looks very much like the successful Floréal class of light “surveillance frigates” designed for the French Navy in 1989.
Looks like they are planning on mounting a 25 mm Mk 38 mod 2 on top of the hanger instead of a CIWS. For our purposes, that is probably a better choice, provided we have the option of substituting a state of the art CIWS like SeaRAM should we go to war. I’d really like to know what they are anticipating for a fire control system. Radar and electro-optical or electro-optical only?
What surprises me is that there is no stern ramp, in spite of the fact that it looks like there is adequate room. I never liked the arrangement we have for launching the boat at the fantail of the 270s, because of what happens when the ship is pitching, and this does not look like an improvement. However, the fact that she has boats on both sides amidships is an improvement.
I would still like to see some space planned for interchangeable containerized mission modules. Maybe there could be an option to put these on the fantail in lieu of the third boat. Aside from the Littoral Combat Ship modules, these might include class rooms for cadet cruises, holding cells for migrant interdiction, operating rooms for disaster relief, or laboratories for scientific research.
Hopefully the larger flight deck means the ships will be capable of operating all the H-60 variants including the Navy’s MH-60 R and S versions and there will be space available to store their equipment and weapons.
Provided the price is reasonable, these ships should have definite Foreign Military Sales potential. I can see variations of this design with Harpoon launchers either on the fantail or foc’sle.
Related posts (newest to oldest):
- Offshore Patrol Cutters–Why the Navy Should Support the Program
- Rethinking the New Cutter Programs
- Progress (or lack of it) on the National Security Cutters
- Mission Modules, a Possible Coast Guard System
- Offshore Patrol Cutter Update
- WMEC270 to OPC
- Guns for the Offshore Patrol Cutters
- “Design” an Offshore Patrol Cutter Today