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The Coast Guard and Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) authenticated the keel for the second offshore patrol cutter (OPC), Chase, May 24, 2021.

The Coast Guard modified its contract with Eastern Shipbuilding Group April 29, 2021, to begin construction of the third OPC and to acquire long lead-time material for the fourth OPC.

The Coast Guard released a request for proposal (RFP) Jan. 29, 2021, for OPC follow-on detail design and production.

Offshore Patrol Cutter


Artist rendering courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding Group.

Acquisition of the offshore patrol cutter (OPC) is the Coast Guard’s highest investment priority. The OPC will provide a capability bridge between the national security cutter, which patrols the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments, and the fast response cutter, which serves closer to shore. The ships will feature state-of-the-market technology and will replace the service’s 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance cutters, which are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and operate. The first OPC is scheduled for delivery in 2022.

Why this program?

The 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance cutters that the OPC will replace are approximately 30 and 50 years old, respectively. The Coast Guard has made targeted investments to improve the reliability and operational availability of the medium endurance cutters, but they are still on their way to technological obsolescence. In addition, the Coast Guard’s missions have evolved in response to changing national and international maritime security needs, and the service needs a fleet designed to execute its missions. The OPC is the most affordable way to fill the service’s need for long-term offshore capability to maintain current and future mission effectiveness.

Acquisition Strategy

The Coast Guard is using a multi-phased design-build strategy to acquire the OPC. This approach established stable requirements and design early in the acquisition to help mitigate cost and schedule risks. The Coast Guard awarded contracts to three vendors in February 2014 for phase 1, preliminary and contract design. After evaluating an extensive range of contract deliverables submitted by the preliminary and contract design phase contractors, the service selected Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. (ESG) to continue to phase 2, which includes detail design and construction.

On Oct. 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael – a Category 5 storm – made landfall in Panama City, Florida, causing widespread damage to ESG’s facilities. As a result, ESG requested extraordinary cost and schedule relief from the Coast Guard to support continued performance on the OPC contract. The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security determined that extraordinary relief was necessary to maintain the national defense and was in the best interest of the government. The Coast Guard is moving forward with an adjustment to the OPC contract with ESG to include options for construction of up to four OPCs. The Coast Guard will work with ESG to establish new cost and schedule targets under the contract and continue OPC production at ESG’s facilities. The Coast Guard released a request for information to gauge industry interest in re-competing the remainder of the OPC program of record Oct. 18, 2019.

Production activities for the lead OPC, Argus, began in January 2019. Production activities for the second OPC, Chase, began in April 2020 and on the third, Ingham, in April 2021. Long lead-time materials for the fourth OPC are on order.


The OPCs will provide the majority of offshore presence for the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet, bridging the capabilities of the 418-foot national security cutters, which patrol the open ocean, and the 154-foot fast response cutters, which serve closer to shore. The OPCs will conduct missions including law enforcement, drug and migrant interdiction, search and rescue, and other homeland security and defense operations. Each OPC will be capable of deploying independently or as part of task groups and serving as a mobile command and control platform for surge operations such as hurricane response, mass migration incidents and other events. The cutters will also support Arctic objectives by helping regulate and protect emerging commerce and energy exploration in Alaska.

Notional Characteristics

  • Number Planned: 25
  • Length: 360 feet
  • Beam: 54 feet
  • Draft: 17 feet
  • Sustained Speed: 22.5 knots
  • Range: 10,200 nautical miles at 14 knots
  • Endurance: 60-days

OPC: In the News


May 24, 2021 - Keel authenticated for second offshore patrol cutter

April 29, 2021 - Coast Guard modifies contract to construct third offshore patrol cutter, acquire long lead-time material for fourth

Feb. 1, 2021 - Coast Guard releases request for proposal for offshore patrol cutter follow-on detail design and production


Oct. 9, 2020 - Coast Guard provides draft solicitation for offshore patrol cutter

Aug. 3, 2020 - Coast Guard opens access to offshore patrol cutter technical library

May 4, 2020 - Keel authenticated for first offshore patrol cutter

April 30, 2020 - Fabrication begins on second offshore patrol cutter

April 2, 2020 - Coast Guard modifies contract to construct second offshore patrol cutter, acquire long lead-time material for third offshore patrol cutter

March 20, 2020 - Coast Guard awards eight contracts for offshore patrol cutter industry studies

Jan. 10, 2020 - Coast Guard releases final request for proposal for industry studies


Dec. 4, 2019 - Coast Guard releases draft request for proposal for industry studies, announces Offshore Patrol Cutter Industry Day

Nov. 22, 2019 - Coast Guard releases draft statement of work for offshore patrol cutter program industry studies

Oct. 18, 2019 - Coast Guard releases request for information to inform OPC acquisition strategy

Oct. 11, 2019 - Department of Homeland Security approves limited extraordinary relief for offshore patrol cutter contract

Feb. 7, 2019 - Commencement of steel cutting for first offshore patrol cutter


Sept. 28, 2018 - Coast Guard exercises option to construct first offshore patrol cutter, acquire long lead-time materials for second offshore patrol cutter


Sept. 7, 2017 - Coast Guard exercises long lead-time materials option for first offshore patrol cutter

Aug. 4, 2017 - Coast Guard reveals names of OPCs 1-11

May 3, 2017 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard establishes OPC Project Resident Office


Oct. 5, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Moves Forward To Next Phase Of OPC Acquisition

Sept. 15, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Selects Offshore Patrol Cutter Design


June 4, 2014 - Acquisition Update: GAO Affirms Offshore Patrol Cutter Contract Award

Feb. 11, 2014 - Acquisition Update: U.S. Coast Guard Awards Three Contracts for Offshore Patrol Cutter Preliminary and Contract Design


Sept. 9, 2013 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard to Hold Discussions with Offerors on OPC Acquisition

Aug. 16, 2013 - Coast Guard Cutter Contract Includes Need for ISR Capability

Feb. 2, 2013 - Adm. Papp discusses maritime strategic issues with Adm. Greenert and Gen. Amos