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National security cutters (NSCs) – including Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, shown patrolling the ice edge in the Arctic Ocean in support of Operation Arctic Shield, Aug. 28, 2016 – provide the Coast Guard with enhanced operational capabilities in the offshore environment. Five NSCs are currently performing operations out of Alameda, California, and Charleston, South Carolina, and the sixth NSC was delivered earlier this month. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Leddon.

Acquisition Update: Production Awarded For Ninth National Security Cutter

Jan. 3, 2017

The Coast Guard awarded a fixed-price contract option valued at $486 million for the production of the ninth national security cutter (NSC) Dec. 30, 2016. The ninth NSC will be built at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Five NSCs are fully operational. Coast Guard cutters Bertholf, Waesche and Stratton are stationed in Alameda, California. Hamilton and James are homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. The sixth NSC, Munro, was delivered in December 2016 and will also be stationed in Alameda. The seventh NSC, Kimball, is scheduled for delivery in 2018, and the eighth cutter, Midgett, is on contract and scheduled for delivery in 2019. Kimball and Midgett will both be stationed in Honolulu.

NSCs interdicted more than 85,970 total pounds of cocaine valued at over $1.1 billion between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016. This quantity contributed to the Coast Guard’s impressive record in counterdrug operations in fiscal year 2016, shattering the service’s previous records. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, an NSC based in Alameda, California, offloaded more than 39,000 pounds of cocaine worth over $531 million Oct. 27, 2016. Crewmembers of Waesche turned over narcotics from 25 separate busts in fiscal year 2016 occurring in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Central and South America.

The 418-foot NSCs support maritime homeland security and defense missions and are designed to navigate the most demanding maritime environments on 60- to 90-day patrols. The NSCs feature two types of standardized cutter boats with stern and side davit launch and recovery capabilities; advanced command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; aviation support facilities; and long-endurance station keeping. They are replacing the 378-foot high endurance cutters, which have been in service since the 1960s.

For more information: National Security Cutter program page