Austal bags $3.3bn worth contract from US Coast Guard for 11 OPCs

Austal Limited, an Australian shipbuilder, said that its subsidiary Austal USA has bagged a contract that is potentially worth $3.3 billion from the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

The contract is for providing the detail design and construction of up to 11 offshore patrol cutters (OPCs).

Austal Limited said that the US Coast Guard has contracted the first vessel and has options for an additional 10 vessels.

Construction of the 110m offshore patrol cutters is likely to begin next year, said the ship building company and defence prime contractor. It will be undertaken at a new $100 million steel shipbuilding facility of Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.

Paddy Gregg — Austal Limited CEO said: “The United States Coast Guard’s new Offshore Patrol Cutters are an outstanding opportunity for Austal USA to further demonstrate the shipyard’s new steel shipbuilding capability; based on years of proven construction experience through the delivery of the LCS and EPF programs for the United States Navy.

“The Offshore Patrol Cutters are a critical capability in the United States’ homeland security and the Coast Guard’s most important acquisition program, and the Austal USA team is very excited and proud to be delivering this major shipbuilding program for the USA.”

Austal bags $3.3bn worth contract from US Coast Guard for 11 offshore patrol cutters

Austal bags $3.3bn worth contract from US Coast Guard for 11 offshore patrol cutters. Photo courtesy of Austal Limited.

According to Austal Limited, the US Coast Guard’s 110m steel offshore patrol cutters offer a capability bridge between the latter’s National Security Cutters that operate in the open ocean and the smaller, Fast Response Cutters that operate near the shore.

The new offshore patrol cutters of the US Coast Guard can carry out a range of missions such as law enforcement, search and rescue, and drug and migrant interdiction operations.

They have a range of 10,200 nautical miles at 14 knots while their endurance period is 60 days.

Each of the offshore patrol cutters can be independently deployed or as part of task groups. They will serve as a mobile command and control platform for undertaking surge operations like mass migration incidents, hurricane response, and other emergency events.

Rusty Murdaugh — Austal USA President said: “This contract award is the result of our continued investment in our people and our facilities. We are thrilled for the opportunities this will bring to our local community and our tremendous supplier base, as this program will provide our shipbuilding team the stability for continued growth.”

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