PASCAGOULA, Miss., July 2 (UPI) -- Long-lead materials for an eighth U.S. Coast Guard National Security cutter are being procured by Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division.
The materials are being purchased under a $76.5 million contract given earlier this week by the Coast Guard in relation to the future cutter Midgett, which will be constructed at the Ingalls Shipbuilding facility in Mississippi.
"The long-lead material contracts give our shipbuilders the ability to immediately start construction of the ship if and when that contract is awarded," said Jim French, Ingalls' National Security Cutter program manager. "The advance procurement helps us get the best cost possible for equipment and materials and keeps the industrial base production line flowing.
"Our learning curve continues to improve with each ship we build, and the advance procurement helps continue that curve."
Legend-class NSCs are 418 feet long and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots and a range of 12,000 miles. They are replacing the Coast Guard's Hamilton-class cutters, which first entered service in the 1960s.
Ingalls Shipbuilding has delivered three National Security Cutters to the Coast Guard so far. A fourth will undergo builder's sea trials this summer, while a fifth is slated for christening in August.
Ingalls Shipbuilding said the keel for a sixth NSC is to be laid later this year.
"The Legend-class of cutters plays an important role in enhancing the Coast Guard's operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater," the company said.