Three separate companies have been awarded preliminary design contracts with the US Coast Guard for the new Offshore Patrol Cutter. Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, La., Eastern Shipbuilding in Panama City, Fla. and General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Bath, Maine each won a contract with a total value of $65 million aimed to replace the Coast Guard’s 210-foot and 270-foot medium endurance cutters.
Bath Iron Works has said it would collaborate with Spanish shipbuilding company Navantia and L-3 Communications for the ship design. Bollinger, meanwhile, will team up with Gibbs & Cox Maritime Solutions, L3 Communications, and Damen Shipyards Group. Bollinger is already constructing the Fast Response Cutter for the Coast Guard. Eastern Shipbuilding Group will partner with STX Marine and Northrop Grumman for their bid.
“I thank the President, Secretary Johnson, and Congress for their continued support in recapitalizing our aging fleet of cutters. These contract awards today are an important milestone in sustaining the offshore capability needed to protect the nation’s maritime borders,” said Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Bob Papp in a press release. “Affordability will be the central consideration as this acquisition moves closer to production.”
As part of the contract, all three companies will work for 18 months before the winning design is selected by the Coast Guard as the basis for their forthcoming 25-cutter fleet.