View Full Version : Boy, Have Things Changed Since I Was A Coastie

12-10-2007, 02:17 AM
... but it sure looks fine (http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/the-uscgs-national-security-cutters-03614/http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/the-uscgs-national-security-cutters-03614/)!


Some details on the new Legend Class National Security Cutters:

"Closer akin to a war ship than its predecessor, the 418-foot NSC is designed to be the Coast Guard's flagship vessel, capable of meeting all maritime national security needs. It will routinely carry a small boat package and will be outfitted with an aviation detachment, depending upon individual mission requirements. The Legend Class cutters will displace 4,300t fully loaded with a 21 foot draught, and carry a crew of 148 up to 12,000 nautical miles when operating at most efficient speed.

The NSC is powered by a combined diesel and gas turbine power propulsion plant known as Combined Diesel and Gas Turbine (CODAG). A pair of 9,655 hp medium speed MTU diesel engines will provide regular propulsion, with GE's ubiquitous LM2500 gas turbine available to offer 30,565 bhp for high speed and intercept operations. The ship's 14 foot controllable pitch propellers will turn at 231 rpm, and can drive the ship to a sustained top speed of 29 knots. A trio of 1360 Kw Ship Service Diesel Generator Sets will also be on board, to power the ship's electrical and communications systems.

That communications suite will allow Legend Class ships act as a flagship and command vessels, with multiple sensors on board for intelligence collection and sharing and a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF). Onboard sensors will include surface search & navigation radars (X & S Band), a 3D Air Search Radar from EADS, the SPQ-9B Fire Control Radar, a Mk46 Electro-Optical Infrared Sensor, HF, VHF & UHF Communications, a radio direction finder, and the rest of its C4ISR Suite. Sensors to detect chemical, biological and radiological attacks will also be included in that package, and a Collective Protection System (CPS) will serve to keep such contaminants out of the ship's interior. As a greatly appreciated side benefit, CPS systems provide excellent air conditioning.

Legend Class ships will carry several weapons systems, including BAE Systems' 57mm Mk 110 naval gun. The Mk110 also outfits the Navy's new Littoral Combat Ship, and will equip its DDG 1000 Zumwalt Class destroyers and the Coast Guard's smaller Offshore Patrol Cutters. can be used against air threats as well as surface targets, and its offensive and defensive punch will be complemented by the same Mk15 Phalanx Block 1B 20mm gatling gun that offers US Navy ships their last-ditch defense against anti-ship missiles. The Block 1B model adds the ability to destroy surface targets as well; its 4,500-7,000 rpm firing rate should give fast attack boats pause. Ancillary .50 cal machine gun mounts and/or remotely-operated weapons can also be expected. A "Slick 32" AN/SLQ-32 system provides electronic jamming just as it does for the US Navy's high-end destroyers, and the US-Australian Mk53 Nukla automated decoy system rounds out the NSC's protective fittings.

A series of ancillary systems will round out the NSC cutter's capabilities over its lifetime. UAVs and UUV/USV vessels are to be expected for operations above, below, or on the water. The Deepwater program specifies Bell Textron's tilt-rotor Eagle Eye as the VTUAV of choice, but that program is under review and the Army/Navy RQ-8 Fire Scout could easily step into that role. Imagine 4 "air vehicle slots" – it will typically deploy with a multi-mission MH-65 Dolphin helicopter (2 slots each) and 2 vertical unmanned aerial vehicles (1 slot each), though different mixes are possible. The H-60 family of helicopters can also be embarked.

The NSC cutter's Stern Launch Ramp adds additional options, and can carry up to 2 rigid hull infalatable boats. The Deepwater Short-Range Prosecutor (SRP is a 7m RHIB, speed up to 33 knots) and Long-Range Interceptor (LRI is a 11m RHIB, speed up to 45 knots, can be armed) are currently forecast as typical load-outs, and a starbord davit also exists for the SRP. These slots could also be occupied by Unmanned Surface Vessels, of course.

The first of the 8 ship class, USCGC Bertholf [WMSL 750], has been launched. The original fall 2007 delivery date has slipped a bit; under the revised program agreement, it will be delivered to the Coast Guard (and assume her full name upon commissioning) on Feb 26/08."