PASCAGOULA, Miss., May 7 (UPI) -- A new U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter has been launched by Ingalls Shipbuilding for completion of construction.
Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, said the National Security Cutter James -- the fifth by the company -- was taken from a construction area on land and floated on Saturday at the company facility in Pascagoula, Miss.
"Our learning curve continues to improve in this program, and the hot production line certainly provides a foundation for this progress to continue," said Jim French, Ingalls' NSC program manager. "We are able to provide an affordable ship for our customer while providing a capable ship to the Coast Guard fleet.
“We have delivered three ships, with a fourth one to deliver later this year. Our shipbuilders' effective and efficient work ensures the men and women who will serve on this ship, a high-quality product that will be a valuable asset for our nation for many years to come."
The NSC James is scheduled to be delivered to the Coast Guard next year.
Legend-class National Security cutters are 418 feet long, have a 54-foot beam and displace 4,500 tons. Their top speed is 28 knots. Their range is 12,000 miles. Features include an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck for helicopters.
The vessels are replacing Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters that entered service in the 1960s.