“Design” an Offshore Patrol Cutter Today

opc2smallIf the 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters, WMSM-915 class, are built as planned, they will be the most ambitious shipbuilding project in the history of the Coast Guard.

According to the Acquisition Directorate the notional characteristics are as follows:

Number Planned:  25

Length:  357ft.

Propulsion:  Diesel engines

Max Sustained Speed:  25kts

Endurance:  45d

Range:  7,500nm

Crew:  16/75

Armament:  57mm medium caliber gun; M2 .50 cal. heavy machine gun

Stern Launch:  one Short Range Prosecutor and one Long Range Interceptor

Aviation Facilities:  One MH-65C and two vertical launch unmanned aerial 00hicles, or other combinations

These ships are far more capable than the 210s and 270s that they will replace. Assuming that the unit cost is about two thirds of that of the National Security Cutter (NSC), then this contract will be valued at twice that of the NSC. It seems likely that there will be pressure to scale down this project.

Right now the Coast Guard is deciding on the requirements for these ships. Is the notional ship the ship we need?

Is there something we need to add?

Are there things we could do without?

This is your chance to “design” a new cutter.

Maybe someone will be listening.