WASHINGTON — The Coast Guard awarded a contract to Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., of Panama City, Florida, Thursday for the production of the lead Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) and up to eight follow-on cutters.
The total award was valued at $110.29 million. The contract has a potential value of $2.38 billion with options to produce nine cutters.
The OPC acquisition will replace the service’s aging fleet of medium endurance cutters, some that are in excess of 50 years old. Each OPC will feature a flight deck and advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.
The OPC will provide a capability bridge between the National Security Cutter and the Fast Response Cutter, which operates closer to shore.
“The Offshore Patrol Cutter acquisition is the Coast Guard’s highest investment priority, and we are proud to announce this important milestone,” said Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Paul Zukunft. “The Offshore Patrol Cutter will replace our aging medium endurance cutters and provide the majority of offshore presence by the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet. Whether combating transnational organized criminal networks off Central America or patrolling in the increasingly accessible Arctic, the Offshore Patrol Cutter will ensure our Nation’s maritime security and economic interests are preserved for decades to come.”
The first OPC is expected to be delivered in fiscal year 2021; the service plans to build 25 OPCs.
The Coast Guard is currently evaluating home porting options.