Order of 8 USCG Cutters Assured

The Coast Guard's National Security Cutter (NSC) is among the largest and most sophisticated cutters ever designed by the Coast Guard, and while the USCG originally wanted 8, the looming and ever-present budget cuts threatened to reduce that number down to 6. In late June of this year, however, the Coast Guard was given assurances that all 8 would be made as ordered.

These ships are being manufactured in Pascagoula, Mississippi, at the Ingalls shipyard. Three NSC cutters (the USCGC Bertholf, Waesche, and Stratton) have already been completed and are all based in Alameda, California. The fourth NSC cutter, the USCGC Hamilton, is out on acceptance trials and is due to be delivered on September 15, 2014 and commissioned in December.

The construction of the NSC cutter has been improving as well, with the Hamilton the first ship constructed at a fixed cost, on schedule, and currently has half the "trial cards" (items still requiring work) that the USCGC Stratton had.

In addition to the USCGC Hamilton, there are three other ships either in full or beginning production, the USCGC James, Munroe, and Kimball. The final NSC cutter, the USCGC Midgett, is expected to be delivered to the Coast Guard in 2019.