The Coast Guard awarded a $179.7 million contract option to Bollinger Shipyards Inc. on Sept. 22 to build four more Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
This option award brings the total number of FRCs under contract with Lockport, La.-based Bollinger to 12, with a current contract value of $597 million. The current FRC contract contains options for up to 34 cutters and is worth up to $1.5 billion if all options are exercised. The FRCs acquired under this contract option are scheduled to be delivered to the Coast Guard in 2014 and homeported in Key West, Fla.
“This follow-on award will result in an extension of our backlog for several years, and provide jobs for over 500 Bollinger employees,” said Bollinger’s Executive Vice President Chris Bollinger. “This award reflects the Coast Guard’s continued confidence in the quality products delivered by the Bollinger team, including our workforce and team of suppliers and contractors.”
In September 2008, the Coast Guard awarded Bollinger an $88 million production contract for the lead FRC, the Bernard C. Webber. It was launched on April 21 and will undergo sea trials prior to its delivery later this year. The second FRC, the Richard Etheridge, was launched Aug. 18, and production is underway on FRCs three through eight. The Webber will be homeported in Miami.
The Sentinel-class will eventually replace the Coast Guard’s Island-class 110-foot patrol boat. The FRC uses a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol 4708. It has a required flank speed of 28 knots and will be armed with one stabilized, remotely operated 25mm chain gun and four crew-served .50 caliber machine guns. Other requirements include the ability to perform independently for a minimum of five days at sea and capable of underway operations for a minimum of 2,500 hours per year.
The Sentinel FRCs will use the latest command, control, communications and computer technology that will be interoperable with the Coast Guard’s existing and future assets, as well as Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense assets. The cutter will meet American Bureau of Shipping design, build and class standards. The Coast Guard plans to acquire up to 58 FRCs.