July 14, 2023 —
Coast Guard Cutter Spencer approaches the pier at Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore. Service life extension program work on the medium endurance cutter will last 15 months. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
The service life extension program (SLEP) for the 270-foot Famous-class medium endurance cutters (MECs) moved to the production phase July 1 with the start of industrial work on Coast Guard Cutter Spencer.
Four main areas are being addressed during this SLEP, encompassing electrical, weapons system, engine and structural areas. Coast Guard Cutters Seneca and Harriet Lane served as prototypes for the electrical and structural work; Harriet Lane served as the gun weapons system prototype. Work on Seneca ran from July 2021 to March 2022; Harriet Lane work began March 2022 and is scheduled to be completed in August 2023.
Spencer will be the first hull to receive all major work items, including new main diesel engines. The work is scheduled to last 15 months.
SLEP work on the 270-foot MECs is planned through spring 2028 on five additional hulls: Legare, Campbell, Forward, Escanaba and Tahoma. The work involves targeted system replacement to address system reliability, supportability and obsolescence. SLEP work is completed at Coast Guard Yard concurrently with regular maintenance activities to achieve overall schedule and cost savings. The work will facilitate continued MEC operations during the service’s transition to the future offshore patrol cutter class.
In-Service Vessel Sustainment is the Coast Guard’s strategic class-by-class evaluation of its vessels to determine what major maintenance and upgrades are necessary for them to reach or extend their service lives.
For more information: In-Service Vessel Sustainment Program page