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National Security Cutter

For more photos of the national security cutter, visit image gallery on Flickr.


The Coast Guard on March 29, 2018, awarded a contract to Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. of Pascagoula, Mississippi, to procure long lead time materials for the construction of the 10th national security cutter (NSC).

Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, the service's second NSC, arrived at Vigor Marine LLC's Seattle shipyard Sept. 12, 2017, to begin structural enhancement work.

The Coast Guard exercised a contract option, worth $14 million, with Vigor Marine LLC for the structural enhancement drydock availability for the second NSC, Coast Guard Cutter Waesche, July 13, 2017.

  Program Information                       




The Legend-class national security cutter (NSC) is the centerpiece of the Coast Guard’s fleet, capable of executing the most challenging operations, including supporting maritime homeland security and defense missions.

Why this program?

The largest and most technologically advanced of the Coast Guard’s newest classes of cutters, the NSCs replace the aging 378-foot high endurance cutters, which have been in service since the 1960s. Compared to legacy cutters, the NSCs’ design provides better sea-keeping and higher sustained transit speeds, greater endurance and range, and the ability to launch and recover small boats from astern, as well as aviation support facilities and a flight deck for helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

How is the NSC being acquired?

The NSC program began under the Deepwater Program as an eight-ship class intended to replace the aging 378-foot high endurance cutters. The first three NSCs – Bertholf, Waesche and Stratton – were acquired under contract with the Integrated Coast Guard Systems industry consortium. As part of the Integrated Deepwater System contract, the NSCs initially were built under a cost-plus-award fee contract. As each subsequent cutter underwent sea trials prior to acceptance and delivery, it became clear that lessons learned through the design and construction processes had improved the efficiency of the building process.

NSCs No. 7-9 are in production at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, under fixed-price, incentive-type production contracts.