Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La., has delivered the 154’x25’5″x9’6″ Benjamin Dailey to the Coast Guard, the 23rd fast response cutter (FRC). The patrol boat is made of steel with an aluminum superstructure and is ABS classed High-Speed Naval Craft. The new cutter was delivered to Key West, Fla., on April 20, 2017, and the vessel’s commissioning is scheduled for July 4, 2017, in Pascagoula, Miss.
For the FRC, Bollinger is using a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. Main propulsion comes from twin MTU 20V4000 M93L diesel engines, producing 2,900 hp each. The patrol boat has a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology, and a stern launch system for the vessel’s 26′ cutter boat.
The new cutters have a minimum endurance of five days at sea and a range of 2,950 nautical miles. The FRCs must be capable of underway operations for a minimum of 2,500 hours annually, using the latest technologically advanced command, control, communications and computer technology that are interoperable with other Coast Guard assets.
Each FRC carries a crew of 24 (three officers, 21 enlisted) and is equipped with a stabilized, remotely operated 25mm chain gun and four .50-caliber machine guns.
“We are pleased to announce the delivery of the latest FRC, the USCGC Benjamin Dailey,” Ben Bordelon, Bollinger President and C.E.O., said in a prepared statement. “This FRC built by Bollinger Shipyards will be stationed in Pascagoula, Miss. FRCs already in commission stationed in the mid-Atlantic and the South Eastern U.S. have seized multiple tons of narcotics, interdicted thousands of illegal aliens and saved many lives. In just one case, on Feb. 28, 2017, the Coast Guard announced that the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier, a Bollinger built FRC, had seized 4.2 tons of cocaine in international waters north of Paramaribo, Suriname, in the Atlantic Ocean. The FRC program is a model program for government acquisition and has surpassed all historical quality benchmarks for vessels of this type and complexity. The results are the delivery of truly extraordinary Coast Guard cutters that will serve our Nation for decades to come. We are extremely proud that the Fast Response Cutters built locally on the bayou by Louisiana craftsmen are having such a major impact on our nation’s security. We at Bollinger Shipyards are looking forward to hearing of the heroic exploits of the USCGC Benjamin Daily as it joins the Coast Guard’s operational fleet.”
The FRC has been described as an operational “game changer,” by senior Coast Guard officials. This will be the first FRC to be stationed in the 8th Coast Guard District in Pascagoula, Miss. Previous cutters have been stationed in Florida, San Juan, PR, Cape May, N.J. and Ketchikan, Alaska.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty. This vessel is named after Coast Guard Hero Benjamin Dailey. Dailey, Keeper of the Cape Hatteras Life-Saving Station, was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal on April 24, 1885.