Lockport, La.-based Bollinger Shipyards announced today that the Coast Guard has exercised a $255 million contract option for six additional Sentinel-class fast response cutters. This option brings the total number of FRCs under contract with Bollinger to 30, with a current contract value of $1.4 billion. The FRCs acquired under this contract option are scheduled to be delivered to the Coast Guard in 2017 and will be homeported at various bases around the U.S.
“We are extremely pleased that the Coast Guard has awarded six additional fast response cutters to our current contract. This award reflects the continued confidence that the Coast Guard has in our vessels," said Chris Bollinger, president of Bollinger Shipyards.
On June 25, Bollinger Shipyards delivered the USCGC Raymond Evans, the 10th FRC to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard is scheduled to commission the vessel in Key West, Fla., in September. FRCs now operating in the southeast U.S., the Bahamas and the Caribbean have already had a major affect on Coast Guard operations. Recent interdictions by the FRCs Paul Clark and Charles Sexton resulted in the seizure of thousands of pounds of marijuana and cocaine. In addition, FRCs in south Florida have interdicted hundreds of illegal migrants attempting to reach our shores and saved over 100 lives. The Coast Guard says the FRCs are operational “game changers” for the Coast Guard.
The Sentinel-class is replacing the Coast Guard’s venerable Island-class 110' patrol boat. The FRC uses a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol 4708. It can operate at speeds over 28 knots and is 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.