Just as the federal government headed toward a shutdown, Mississippi lawmakers announced Friday that the Coast Guard has awarded a $930.8 million contract for Huntington Ingalls to build two more national security cutters.
It is the first time two of the 418’x54’22.5’ high seas cutters have been included on the same contract, which calls for the 10th vessel of the class to be delivered in January 2023 and the 11th one year later. The NSC program has a potential total value of $1.7 billion for the Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard.
“This marks the first time two NSCs have been awarded on the same contract, and ensures maximum cost savings for taxpayers by allowing Mississippi’s shipbuilders to have a more efficient acquisition and construction schedule for these ships,” said Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who announced the contract along with fellow Mississippi Republicans Sen. Roger Wicker and Rep. Steven Palazzo.
“This contract is great news for continuing work to rebuild our national defenses by giving the Coast Guard the modern fleet it needs to carry out its mission, including stopping the flow of drugs and people entering our country illegally,” said Hyde-Smith.
The contract award was announced as the federal government lurched toward a shutdown amid debate in Congress over funding border security. The cutters are funded under the fiscal year 2018 omnibus spending bill approved in April. A $95 million long-lead time materials contract for the 10th cutter was issued in March, and a another $97.1 million long-lead time materials contract for the 11th ship followed in October, according to Hyde-Smith.