Fabrication Starts For Coast Guard’s Seventh National Security Cutter

Acquisition Directorate
Fabrication of the Coast Guard’s seventh national security cutter, Kimball, officially began Jan. 19 at Ingalls Shipbuilding. This milestone marks the start of the production process and is traditionally held after 100 tons of steel for the ship have been cut during pre-fabrication.

Celebrating the start of fabrication for the seventh national security cutter, Kimball, at Ingalls Shipbuilding are, from left: Chief Petty Officer John Whalen, with NSC Project Residence Office Gulf Coast; Chief Petty Officer Rudy Balius, with PRO Gulf Coast; Buddy Dennis, electrician; Chris Kimball, test engineer; and Ernesto Morales, with PRO Gulf Coast. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Celebrating the start of fabrication for the seventh national security cutter, Kimball, at Ingalls Shipbuilding are, from left: Chief Petty Officer John Whalen, with NSC Project Residence Office Gulf Coast; Chief Petty Officer Rudy Balius, with PRO Gulf Coast; Buddy Dennis, electrician; Chris Kimball, test engineer; and Ernesto Morales, with PRO Gulf Coast. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

To begin fabrication, the Coast Guard’s Project Resident Office Gulf Coast validated that all scheduled pre-fabrication activities, which began March 5, 2014, were completed. Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi, began fabrication with more than 473.8 short tons of steel plate, as well as shapes cut for 25 of 45 unit assemblies, exceeding start fabrication requirements and positioning the seventh NSC for a strong production cycle.

A production and delivery contract for Kimball was awarded to Huntington Ingalls Industries in March 2014. The Kimball’s next key milestone will be its keel authentication, set for January 2016.

The seventh NSC is named for Sumner Kimball, who revitalized the Treasury Department’s Revenue Marine Division, established a training school for young officers that grew into today’s U.S. Coast Guard Academy and created the U.S. Life-Saving Service, of which he served as general superintendent until it merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to form the modern U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard is acquiring eight NSCs to provide increased endurance, maritime domain awareness and command and control capability in the offshore environment. The NSC class replaces the 378-foot high-endurance cutters, which entered service in the 1960s. Each NSC is 418 feet long, has a top speed of 28 knots and endurance for 60- to 90-day patrols. The NSCs feature a flight deck and aviation support facilities, stern cutter boat launch, and advanced command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, allowing them to conduct missions and coordinate operations in open-ocean environments.

Four NSCs have been commissioned. Coast Guard Cutters Bertholf, Waesche and Stratton are based in Alameda, California. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton is based in Charleston, South Carolina. The fifth and sixth NSCs, James and Munro, are under construction. James is scheduled for delivery in June 2015. Long lead time materials – which include steel plating, propulsion systems, generators and other items needed for production – have been ordered for the eighth NSC, Midgett.

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