Coast Guard Awaits Delivery
Of First Fast Response Cutter
The U.S. Coast Guard’s Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs)
are being built by Lockport, La.-based Bollinger Shipyards and will
replace the 110-foot Island-class
patrol boats (ICPs). The 154-foot
FRC will provide the service with an
agile boat capable of meeting its various homeland security missions. It
also will have a command, control,
communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system that is interoperable
with other Coast Guard assets along
with partners within the Department of Defense and Department of
ROBERT SOCHA/BOLLINGER SHIPYARDS
Work is nearly complete at Lockport, La.-based Bollinger Shipyards on the
Coast Guard’s first 154-foot Fast Response Cutter (FRC). As many as 34
FRCs will be built to replace the 110-foot Island-class patrol boats.
In September 2008, Bollinger won an
$88 million Coast Guard contract to
build the first FRC, Bernard C.
Webber. The contract had a maximum value of $1.5 billion for up to
34 cutters, if all options are exercised. The first contract option was
picked up in December 2009 to
build three FRCs and the second was
picked up in September to build four
more. Bollinger is currently under
contract to build eight FRCs at a
combined value of $410.7 million.
Delivery of the first FRC is expected later this year. Production has
started on the other seven vessels.
After the first FRC is delivered, the
Coast Guard estimates that it will
receive one FRC per fiscal quarter.
Christopher Bollinger is executive
vice president of new construction
We have been building Coast Guard ships for the last 25 years and
some of our workers built the Island-class patrol boat that the FRC
As far as challenges we’ve faced, it’s been standard difficulties with a
first-in-the-line ship. There have been some engineering problems and
other distractions, and disruptions at the production facility, but nothing
major so far.
A lot of the production is quite similar to other Coast Guard patrol
boats we’ve built, but the FRC is a little larger. I like to tell people it’s the
87-foot coastal patrol boat and 110-foot ICP on steroids.
We pride ourselves on delivering ships on time and on budget, and
that’s what we plan to do with the FRC. When we negotiate schedule timelines for delivery we try to beat it.
Finishing delivery of each of these ships is critically important for us
because we know the Coast Guard needs this vessel. They have a tremendous need to replace the aging ICP. We’ve heard that the FRC is going to
be the backbone of the Coast Guard. I am hopeful the Coast Guard picks
up the third contract option in the next few months and I am confident the entire contract will be fulfilled.