ESG gets contract to begin construction on USCG’s 4th new OPC

US-based shipbuilder Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) has received a contract from the U.S. Coast Guard to begin construction of the fourth Heritage-class offshore patrol cutter (OPC), the future USCGC Rush (WMSM 918).

The total value of this contracting action is $325.06 million, USCG confirmed.

The OPC meets the service’s long-term need for cutters capable of deploying independently or as part of a larger task force and is essential to stopping smugglers at sea, rescuing mariners, enforcing fisheries laws, responding to disasters, interdicting non-citizens and protecting the nation.

The new OPC designs will replace the service’s 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance cutters, which are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and operate.

As prime contractor, ESG has successfully achieved program goals and mitigated the impacts of COVID-19 and current supply chain challenges. It expects to christen the first vessel this year, is nearly halfway through completion of the second vessel, and will host the keel authentication of the third OPC in a few weeks.

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Construction is taking place at ESG’s Nelson Street Shipyard in Panama City, Florida, a facility that is optimized for multi-hull construction of the Offshore Patrol Cutter and dedicated to supporting the U.S. Coast Guard.

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