Coast Guard orders second Maritime Security Cutter

ROSSLYN, Va., 18 January 2005. As part of its sweeping modernization program, the U.S. Coast Guard awarded Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS) a contract to begin production and delivery of the second Maritime Security Cutter, Large (WMSL, formerly called the National Security Cutter).

ROSSLYN, Va., 18 January 2005. As part of its sweeping modernization program, the U.S. Coast Guard awarded Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS) a contract to begin production and delivery of the second Maritime Security Cutter, Large (WMSL, formerly called the National Security Cutter).

The WMSL will be a 421-foot vessel with a 4,112-ton displacement at full load when delivered. It is powered by a twin-screw combined diesel and gas turbine power propulsion plant that delivers a maximum speed of 28 knots. The cutter includes an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats, a flight deck to accommodate a variety of rotary wing manned and unmanned aircraft and state-of-the-art command and control electronics.

The Deepwater program is the U.S. Coast Guard's modernization program that will replace aging equipment with advanced technology and increased capability. Progress on this latest program award is well underway as long lead material has already been ordered to facilitate start of fabrication.

The production contract for the first cutter of the class, WMSL 750, was awarded in June 2004, with ship construction getting underway in September 2004. At construction contract award for the first cutter, 75 percent of the design drawings were issued, which is far more than is common for first-in-class ship design and construction. Additionally, 94 percent of major equipment purchases were awarded prior to start of fabrication. By the end of the first 12 weeks of production, the ICGS Deepwater team was able to achieve the most accurate and error-free work ever accomplished in a first-of-class ship in production today.

"The Deepwater team is reporting First Time Quality results that surpass any previous ship class, demonstrating a commitment of best-in-breed craftsmen and production management to ensure a ship for the Coast Guard that surpasses any first-in-class ship that is in production today," said Jamie Anton, executive vice president of ICGS.

The team is working toward an April keel laying for WMSL 750, the first cutter, weeks earlier than called for under the contract. This schedule achievement is possible because of the team's accomplishments to date. Fifteen out of a total of 45 subassemblies are in production (ahead of schedule by a full two units) and the shipyard has 96 percent of its major equipment suppliers under contract, (35 percent ahead of schedule). These milestones were achieved just 90 days after start of fabrication last September.

All eight of the proposed WMSL cutters will be manufactured at the Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls Operations, Pascagoula, Miss., as a major partner in ICGS, a joint venture of Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. Under this partnership, Lockheed Martin will develop and integrate the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities for the vessel.

"Since program inception, the ICGS team has continuously raised the bar in design excellence, supply chain management, and quality and process improvements. The team is poised, as has been proven with each accelerated milestone achievement, to build this new fleet at a rapid pace with a commitment to first time quality standards unprecedented in a new class of warships," said Philip A. Dur, president, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. "The employees at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, who are providing the ship under contract to ICGS, are proud of their heritage of shipbuilding and understand the criticality of the Coast Guard's needs."

"Our Integrated Coast Guard Systems team is honored to support the Coast Guard as it recapitalizes to meet its critical homeland defense and security missions," Anton said. "These cutters provide a platform that is highly flexible to accommodate the technology and capabilities needed to address potential threats as the Coast Guard carries out its important work of guarding our coastlines and protecting our maritime interests. The first ship in this class is well ahead of schedule and the ICGS team will strive to deliver it and this second cutter to the Coast Guard early."

Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) is a critical multi-year, multi-billion dollar program to modernize and replace the Coast Guard's aging ships and aircraft, and improve command and control and logistics systems. It is the largest recapitalization effort in the history of the Coast Guard. When complete, the interoperable IDS system will include three classes of new cutters and their associated small boats, a new fixed-wing manned aircraft fleet, a combination of new and upgraded helicopters, and both cutter-based and land-based unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). All of these highly capable assets are linked with Command, Control, Communications and Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, and are supported by a new and far-reaching integrated logistics system.

Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS) is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. ICGS was awarded the Deepwater contract in June 2002. Headquartered in Rosslyn, Va., core leadership teams are co-located in Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Washington, DC. For more information, see www.icgsdeepwater.com.

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