cg9 banner


The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 10th national security cutter (NSC) in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on Oct. 13, 2023. The cutter is named for Charles Calhoun, the first master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard christened its 10th NSC, Calhoun, at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, June 4, 2022.

The Coast Guard and Ingalls Shipbuilding authenticated the keel for the 10th NSC, Calhoun, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, July 23, 2021.

National Security Cutter

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

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.

The service awarded a fixed-price contract option to Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. in December 2018 for production of the 10th and 11th NSCs. Delivery of the 10th NSC, Calhoun, is scheduled in fiscal year 2023.

Of the Coast Guard’s white-hull patrol cutter fleet, the NSC is the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the Coast Guard. Each NSC is capable of operating in the most demanding open ocean environments, including the hazardous fisheries of the North Pacific and the vast approaches of the Southern Pacific where much of the American narcotics traffic occurs. With robust command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, stern boat launch and aviation facilities, as well as long-endurance station keeping, the NSCs are afloat operational-level headquarters for complex law enforcement and national security missions involving multiple Coast Guard and partner agency participation.


  • Number Planned: 11
  • Length: 418 feet
  • Beam: 54 feet
  • Draft: 22 feet 6 inches
  • Displacement: 4500 long tons
  • Maximum Speed: 28 knots
  • Range: 12,000 nautical miles
  • Endurance: 60- to 90-day cycles
  • Crew: 148


  • Automated weapons systems capable of stopping rogue vessels far from shore
  • Large flight deck
  • State-of-the-market command and control equipment to enhance interoperability
  • Detection and defense capabilities against chemical, biological or radiological attack
  • Advanced sensors and other C5ISR equipment to contribute intelligence to a common operating picture and provide enhanced maritime domain awareness
  • Bertholf (WMSL 750)
  • Waesche (WMSL 751)
  • Stratton (WMSL 752)
  • Hamilton (WMSL 753)
  • James (WMSL 754)
  • Munro (WMSL 755)
  • Kimball (WMSL 756)
  • Midgett (WMSL 757)
  • Stone (WMSL 758)
  • Hull #10 Calhoun
  • Hull #11 Friedman

NSC: In the News


Oct. 17, 2023 - Coast Guard accepts 10th national security cutter


June 6, 2022 - Coast Guard christens 10th national security cutter


July 26, 2021 - Coast Guard authenticates keel for 10th national security cutter

May 11, 2021 - Fabrication of the Coast Guard’s 11th national security cutter (NSC), Friedman, begins

April 16, 2021 - Coast Guard completes UAS installations on two national security cutters

April 7, 2021 - Coast Guard cutters depart on historic journey to new homeport

March 19, 2021 - Coast Guard commissions ninth national security cutter


Nov. 9, 2020 - Coast Guard accepts ninth national security cutter

March 2, 2020 - Coast Guard christens ninth national security cutter


Oct. 9, 2019 - Ninth national security cutter launched

Aug. 27, 2019 - Coast Guard commissions seventh, eighth national security cutters

Aug. 5, 2019 - NSC Midgett works with Navy destroyer to complete cocaine interdiction

July 25, 2019 - Coast Guard acquisition excellence on full display at DHS awards ceremony

June 11, 2019 - Eighth national security cutter departs for homeport

May 2, 2019 - Eighth national security cutter delivered to Coast Guard

Feb. 1, 2019 - Seventh national security cutter arrives in Honolulu homeport


Dec. 21, 2018 - Coast Guard awards production for 10th and 11th national security cutters

Nov. 16, 2018 - NSC program continues progress, achieves acquisition milestones for seventh and eighth cutters

Sept. 28, 2018 - Coast Guard awards contract for long lead-time materials to construct 11th NSC

Sept. 20, 2018 - Seventh national security cutter delivered to Coast Guard

Sept. 17, 2018 - Keel authenticated for ninth national security cutter

Aug. 31, 2018 - Structural enhancement works concludes on NSC class

July 30, 2018 - New leaders take command at Legacy Sustainment Support Unit and Project Resident Office Gulf Coast

March 29, 2018 - Coast Guard awards contract for long-lead time materials to construct 10th NSC


Dec. 12, 2017 - Coast Guard christens eighth national security cutter

Nov. 27, 2017 - Eighth national security cutter launched

Sept. 29, 2017 - Coast Guard Cutter James aids in Maria response

Sept. 15, 2017 - National security cutter capabilities aid Hurricane Irma relief

Sept. 12, 2017 - Structural enhancement work to begin on second NSC, conclude on first

July 14, 2017 - Coast Guard exercises structural enhancement option for second NSC

April 3, 2017 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard commissions sixth national security cutter

March 6, 2017 - Coast Guard christens seventh national security cutter

Jan. 30, 2017 - Acquisition update: Keel authenticated for eighth national security cutter

Jan. 3, 2017 - Acquisition update: Production awarded for ninth national security cutter


Dec. 19, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Seventh National Security Cutter Launched

Dec. 16, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Sixth National Security Cutter Delivered To Coast Guard

Oct. 28, 2016 - National Security Cutter Helps Coast Guard Set Counterdrug Operations Record

Aug. 30, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Awards Contract For Long Lead Time Materials To Construct Ninth NSC

March 7, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Keel Authenticated For Seventh National Security Cutter

Feb. 18, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Awards National Security Cutter Structural Enhancement Contract


Dec. 3, 2015 - National Security Cutter Delivers $748 Million Of Seized Drugs Into Custody

Nov. 16, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Christens Sixth National Security Cutter

Sept. 15, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Sixth National Security Cutter Launched

Aug. 13, 2015 - National Security Cutter Offloads $1 Billion In Seized Narcotics

Aug. 10, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Commissions Fifth National Security Cutter

Aug. 4, 2015 - Newest National Security Cutter In Boston For Coast Guard’s 225th Anniversary

July 16, 2015 - Cutter James Departs Shipyard Bound For Boston Commissioning

June 5, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Fifth National Security Cutter Delivered To Coast Guard

April 1, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Production Awarded For Eighth National Security Cutter

Jan. 22, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Fabrication Starts For Coast Guard’s Seventh National Security Cutter


Dec. 8, 2014 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Commissions Fourth National Security Cutter Into Service

Nov. 18, 2014 - Newest Coast Guard Cutter Takes To Sea

Nov. 10, 2014 - Acquisition Update: National Security Cutter Hamilton Departs For Charleston Homeport

Sept. 15, 2014 - Acquisition Update: Fourth National Security Cutter Delivered To Coast Guard

Sept. 5, 2014 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Awards Contract To Upgrade Electronics Equipment on National Security Cutters

Aug. 19, 2014 - Acquisition Update: National Security Cutter Program Continues Progress

June 30, 2014 - Acquisition Update: Option Exercised for Long Lead Time Materials for Construction of Eighth National Security Cutter

May 7, 2014 - Acquisition Update: Fifth National Security Cutter Launched

March 31, 2014 - Acquisition Update: Production Contract Awarded for Seventh National Security Cutter


Oct. 26, 2013 - Acquisition Update: Fourth National Security Cutter Christened

Oct. 7, 2013 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard begins fabrication of NSC 6

Aug. 13, 2013 - Acquisition Update: Fourth National Security Cutter Launched

May 17, 2013 - Acquisition Update: Keel Authenticated for the Fifth National Security Cutter

April 30, 2013 - Acquisition Update: Contract Awarded for Production of Sixth National Security Cutter


NSC Fact Sheet