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$592 Million Contract Awarded by Coast Guard to Build Third National Security Cutter and Complete the First Two NSCs at Pascagoula Shipyard

From: Office of Sen. Trent Lott    Filed 8/9/07  GCN

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Coast Guard today awarded Integrated Coast Guard Systems a $337 million contract for construction of the third National Security Cutter (NSC) at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls Operations in Pascagoula, U.S. Senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran announced.

The award also includes $255 million for equitable cost adjustments to the first two NSCs, now being constructed in Pascagoula. The adjustments offset several change orders, material and labor cost increases as well as costs associated with Hurricane Katrina. The total value of today’s contract award is $592 million.

“The NSCs will replace Coast Guard cutters that are almost 40 years old,” Senator Lott said. “This new class of ships will significantly increase the capability and capacity of our Coast Guard, enhancing its ability to meet today’s challenges, including illegal drug interdiction and guarding our shores against terrorist threats.”

Senator Cochran said: “Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the escalation of terrorist threats to our homeland, the Coast Guard has become increasingly important to our nation.  This announcement represents the end product of months of good faith negotiations between Northrop Grumman and the United States Coast Guard.  The agreement will allow the Coast Guard to expedite the construction of ships critical to our nation’s security.”

The NSCs are one element of the broader “Deepwater Program,” a 25-year effort to recapitalize the Coast Guard’s inventory of ships, aircraft, and command and control systems.

“Although the Deepwater Program has been the target of both deserved and undeserved criticism in Washington, we must move forward with this badly-needed upgrade,” Senator Lott continued.  “The Coast Guard needs new vessels and, given the growing threats to America’s borders and shoreline, America depends on the Coast Guard more than ever. While 9-11 induced design changes, Hurricane Katrina and structural modifications impacted the first few NSCs’ cost and schedule, today’s contract signing demonstrates that this class of cutters is back on track. The National Security Cutter fleet is a long-term investment America must make.”

Closer akin to a war ship than its predecessor, the 418-foot NSC is designed to be the Coast Guard’s flagship vessel, capable of meeting all maritime national security needs. It will routinely carry a small boat package and will be outfitted with an aviation detachment, depending upon individual mission requirements. It will typically deploy with a multi-mission helicopter and two vertical unmanned aerial vehicles (VUAVs).  

It will carry several automated weapons systems, a medium caliber deck gun, sensors for intelligence collection and sharing.  It can detect and defend against chemical, biological and radiological attacks.

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