Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress Page: 7 of 48
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Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
largest and most capable general-purpose cutters.14 They are larger and technologically more
advanced than Hamilton-class cuffers, and are built by Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls
Shipbuilding of Pascagoula, MS (HII/Ingalls).
Figure I. National Security Cutter
Source: U.S. Coast Guard photo accessed May 2, 2012, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/coastguard/
561 7034780/sizes/I/in/set-72 157629650794895/.
The Coast Guard's acquisition program of record (POR)-the service's list, established in 2004,
of planned procurement quantities for various new types of ships and aircraft-calls for procuring
12 In the designation WMSL, W means Coast Guard ship and MSL stands for maritime security cutter, large.
13 For a Coast Guard news release that mentions the naming rule for the class, see U.S. Coast Guard, "Acquisition
Update: Keel Authenticated for the Fifth National Security Cutter," May 17, 2013.
14 The NSC design is 418 feet long and has a full load displacement of about 4,500 tons. The displacement of the NSC
design is about equal to that of Navy's Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) class frigates, which are 453 feet long and have a
full load displacement of about 4,200 tons. The Coast Guard's three polar icebreakers are much larger than NSCs, but
are designed for a more specialized role of operations in polar waters. The Coast Guard states that
The largest and most technologically advanced of the Coast Guard's newest classes of cutters, the
NSCs replace the aging 378-foot high endurance cutters, which have been in service since the
1960s. Compared to legacy cutters, the NSCs' design provides better sea-keeping and higher
sustained transit speeds, greater endurance and range, and the ability to launch and recover small
boats from astern, as well as aviation support facilities and a flight deck for helicopters and
unmanned aerial vehicles.
("National Security Cutter," accessed April 19, 2018, at https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Our-
Congressional Research Service 3
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O'Rourke, Ronald. Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress, report, July 6, 2018; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1228585/m1/7/: accessed March 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.