Fairbanks Morse, Beloit, Wis., has been awarded a contract to build and deliver the main propulsion diesel engines (MPDE) for the Coast Guard’s offshore patrol cutter Chase.

Fairbanks Morse – a company of EnPro Industries, Charlotte, N.C. – will build the MPDE system at its Beloit facility for the cutter, which will be built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, Fla.

“Fairbanks Morse has been building engines for the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy since World War II,” said Deepak Navnith, Fairbanks Morse president, in announcing the contract. The company says its engines propel about 80% of Navy ships that have a medium speed power application.

“This new generation of cutters represents one of the largest vessel procurement orders in the Coast Guard’s history and it is also the first time we’ve partnered with Eastern Shipbuilding, whose facility in Panama City was severely impacted by Hurricane Michael in October,” said Navnith. “On behalf of all Fairbanks Morse employees, I’d like to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected and would encourage donations to the official Go Fund Me account set up to assist their hardest hit employees.”

The 360’x54’x17’ cutter will be powered by two FM MAN 16V 28/33D STC diesel engines, each rated at 7,280 kW for 14,560 kW of total propulsion power, a  proven engine design with a long and successful record in maritime applications.

The OPC is designed to conduct multiple missions in support of the nation’s maritime security and border protection. Coast Guard officials say the Heritage-class cutter design will be the mid-sized capability bridge between the 418’x54’x22.5’ Legend-class national security cutter, built for patrolling the high seas, and the 154’x26.6’x9.5’ Sentinel-class fast response cutter, which serves closer to shore and is replacing the 110’ Island-class patrol boats.

Like the national security cutter, the OPC will have the capability to carry an MH-60R or MH-65 helicopter and three over-the-horizon (OTH) small boats. The vessel is also equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system and C4ISR suite that will enhance capabilities to execute missions.

Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.