Saturday, September 18, 2010

CYCLONES AND SENTINELS

USCG Sentinel-class
which are based on the Netherlands Damen Stan-classUSCGC opened hull view
USCG Sentinel-class interior layout

USN Cyclone-class

In the NAUTICAL LOG Press Release folder comes news of Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, LA. The United States Coast Guard has awarded a $166.1 million option to start production of four 'Sentinel-class' Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). This latest award brings a total of eight FRCs under production at Bollinger with a value of $410.7 million. The current FRC contract contains options for up to 34 cutters and is worth $1.5 billion if they are all exercised.

Recently the United States Navy limited operation of its 'Cyclone-class' coastal patrol boats stationed in Bahrain and Norfolk, VA. Any vessel operation would depend on sea state and speed restrictions. This was due to structural damage as the vessels reach the 15 year mark which is considered close to the operational limit. This is apparently not a design fault but usage issue and consists of corrosion and buckling. These vessels were also built at Bollinger Shipyards in the 1990's. Inspections are underway and a plan for necessary repairs would depend on inspection results.

As to the USCG vessels they will eventually replace the 110 foot 'Island-class' patrol boat. The FRC uses a proven in service design based on the Damen Stan 4708 patrol boat from the Netherlands. The Sentinel-class has a required flank speed of 28 knots and is armed with a remote-operated stabilized 25mm chain gun and four manned.50 caliber machine guns. For ease of handling in confined waters they will be fitted with a bow thruster. The USCG has plans to build 58 FRCs. The first of these 'Sentinel-class' FRCs is the USCGC Bernard C. Webber it and all future vessels will be named after enlisted USCG hero's. The USCGC Bernard C. Webber will be stationed here in Miami, USCG 7th. District, it is due to be delivered in the Spring of 2011.

Good Watch.

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