ESG cuts steel for 4th US Coast Guard offshore patrol cutter

Eastern Shipbuilding Group has started construction of the fourth US Coast Guard cutter USCGC Rush (WMSM-918) of the Heritage Class Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program. 

The steel-cutting ceremony was held on 17 October at the company’s Allanton Shipyard.

USCGC RUSH is part of a class of ships that boast multi-mission capabilities and the endurance to carry the men and women of the USCG for more than half a century,” said Joey D’Isernia, President of Eastern Shipbuilding Group. 

In addition, the US Coast Guard modified the contract with ESG on 20 May so installation of the Athena combat weapons system and multi-mode radar system will be completed during the production phase of the OPC.

The Athena system, radar and armament of the OPC are provided to the coast guard as navy type-navy owned government furnished equipment.

“Prior to this modification, installation of both systems was to occur after contract delivery while each cutter was in its homeport. The Navy has completed development, integration and testing of the Athena and radar systems, enabling the Coast Guard to shift to production-phase installation. Performing this work prior to delivery reduces the technical risks associated with post-delivery installation and delivers mission-ready OPCs to the fleet as soon as possible,” according to the company.

This additional scope of work results in a new delivery date in 2023 for the lead cutter Argus which is 75% complete. The second OPC is approximately 50% complete, and the third is 25% complete. The fourth OPC is scheduled for delivery in 2026.