The Coast Guard has awarded a contract to Bollinger Shipyards LLC for four additional 154’x25′ Sentinel-class fast response cutters (FRC). The contract brings the total number of FRCs awarded to Bollinger up to 60 vessels since the program’s inception. The Coast Guard is scheduled to procure 64 FRCs.
The FRCs are consistently being deployed in support of the full range of missions within the Coast Guard and other branches of the armed services. FRCs have conducted operations as far as the Marshall Islands — a 4,400-nautical-mile trip from their homeport. FRCs have a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art C4ISR suite (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), and stern launch and recovery ramp for a 26′, over-the-horizon interceptor cutter boat.
For the FRC, which has a draft of 9’6″, 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.
All four FRCs will be built at Bollinger’s Lockport, La., facility and are scheduled for delivery to the Coast Guard in 2022 and 2023. Three of the four would be homeported in Alaska and the fourth in Boston.
The FRC program has had a total economic impact of $1.2 billion since inception in material spending and directly supports 650 jobs in Southeast Louisiana. The program has indirectly created 1,690 new jobs from operations and capital investment and has an annual economic impact on GDP of $202 million, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Maritime Administration on the economic importance of the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry. Bollinger sources over 271,000 different items for the FRC consisting of 282 million components and parts from 965 suppliers in 37 states.
“It’s a great honor to have the confidence of the U.S. Coast Guard to continue the work we’re doing,” Bollinger Shipyards president and CEO Ben Bordelon, said in a statement announcing the new contract. “The FRC program is something we’re all proud of here in Louisiana. Delivering vessels on schedule and on budget to the Coast Guard during these challenging times shows the determination and resiliency of our workforce.
“While Louisiana’s unemployment rate remains above historic averages, we’re proud that Bollinger continues to be an economic pillar and job creator in south Louisiana,” Bordelon continued. “More than 600 of our 1,500-plus employees have important roles related to the FRC program. Without the support of the Coast Guard and Congress for the continuation of this critical program in fiscal year 2021, the security of these jobs would be thrown into question.”
Currently, Bollinger is participating in industry studies for five government programs, including the Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program, the Navy’s Common Hull Auxiliary Multimission Platform (CHAMP) program, the Navy’s Auxiliary General Ocean Surveillance (T-AGOS(X)) program, the Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) program and the Navy’s Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program.