Sentinel class cutters

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Sentinel class cutter Bernard C. Webber, launched on April 21, 2011, to enter service later in 2011.

The Sentinel Class Cutter, previously known as the Fast Response Cutter, is part of the United States Coast Guard's Deepwater program.[1][2][3][4] At 46.8 m (153.54 ft) it is similar to, but larger than 123 foot extended Island Class Cutters, like the USCGC Matagorda. The vessels are based on the Damen Stan 4708 patrol vessels. The South African government employs similar vessels for environmental and fishery patrol.[5]

Like the Marine Protector class, and the cancelled extended Island class cutters, the Fast Response Cutter would deploy the Short Range Prosecutor Rigid-hulled inflatable for rescues and interceptions.[6]

On March 14 2007 Thad Allen, the Commandant, announced that they had withdrawn from a contract for the construction of the vessels, but had not entirely cancelled the program.[7][8] The new program would focus more on "commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)" technology. The earlier design would have used hull built on composite materials, built by Northrop Grumman.[9]

On September 26 2008 Bollinger Shipyards was awarded $88 million USD to build the prototype for the Coast Guard's Sentinel Class cutters.[10] The cutter will be the first of a series of 24-34 43 m (141.08 ft) cutters built to a design largely based on the Stan 4708 patrol vessels from the Netherlands firm the Damen Group.[11]

Originally, the first cutter was to be named the USCGC Sentinel.[12][13] However, she was later named the USCGC Bernard C. Webber after a recently deceased Coast Guard petty officer who lead a heroic rescue of 32 stranded seamen.[14] The second vessel will be named the USCGC Richard Etheridge, who served in the Coast Guard during the American Civil War.[15] The vessels will be armed with a 25mm autocannon in a Protector Remote Weapons Station, and four crew-served Browning M2 .50 caliber machine guns. They will have a bow thruster for maneuvering in crowded anchorages and channels. They will have small underwater fins, for coping with the rolling and pitching caused by large waves. They will have a stern launching ramp, like the Marine Protecter class and the eight failed expanded Island Class cutters. They will be staffed by a crew of 22.

According to Marine Log, modifications to the Coast Guard vessels from the base design include an increase in speed from 23 to 28 knots; fixed pitch rather than variable pitch propellers; stern launch capability; watertight bulkheads.[16] The lead vessel will be stationed in Miami, and was originally expected to be commissioned in the fall of 2010.[17][18]

Specifications

Plan of the proposed USCG Sentinel class cutters -- modified from the Damen Stan 4708 patrol vessels.
speed
28 knots
displacement
353 long tons
length
46.8 m (153.54 ft)
beam
8.11 m (26.61 ft)
depth
2.9 m (9.51 ft)
complement'
2 officers
20 crew
endurance
5 days
2500 nautical miles
designed to be on patrol 2500 hours per year
power plant
2 x 4300 kW
1 x 75 kW bow thruster
armament
1 x remote controlled 25 mm chain gun autocannon
4 x crew-served Browning M2 machine guns
pursuit boat
1 x 7 metre stern launched

References

  1. Christopher P. Cavas. U.S. Coast Guard Chooses New Patrol Boat, Defense News, 2009-09-30. Retrieved on 2009-10-13. mirror
  2. Fast Response Cutter (FRC). Integrated Deepwater System Program. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
  3. Mark D. Faram. Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters: A new generation of Coast Guard patrol boats, Defense Media Network, 2010-12-10. Retrieved on 2011-05-23. mirror
  4. Sentinel Class Patrol Boat / Fast Response Cutter, USA, Naval Technology, 2010. Retrieved on 2011-05-23. mirror
  5. Damen Stan Patrol Vessel 4708: Lillian Ngoyi, Damen Group. Retrieved on 2009-10-11. mirror
  6. Short Range Prosecutor (SRP). Integrated Deepwater System Program. Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
  7. [https//www.piersystem.com/go/doc/786/150630/ Coast Guard reassigns Deepwater replacement patrol boat acquisition project]. United States Coast Guard (2007-03-14). Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
  8. U.S. Coast Guard Running Out of Ships. Strategy Page (2007-03-25). Retrieved on 2007-09-01.
  9. Christopher P. Cavas. Coast Guard chooses new patrol boat, Navy Times, 2008-09-30. Retrieved on 2011-04-24. “Coast Guard engineers also balked at Northrop Grumman’s proposal to build a new class of patrol boats using composite construction techniques, and in the spring of 2007 the service announced it was “taking back” management of the patrol boat program to produce an “FRC-B” alternative to the original plan. The FRC-B would come from an existing patrol boat design, and the service began a worldwide search for an acceptable ship.”
  10. Acquisition Directorate: Newsroom, United States Coast Guard. Retrieved on 2009-10-08. mirror
  11. SENTINEL Class Patrol Boat: Media Round Table, United States Coast Guard, 2008-09-30. Retrieved on 2009-10-03. mirror
  12. Fast Response Cutter - Sentinel Class, United States Coast Guard, 2009-08-27. Retrieved on 2009-10-09. mirror
  13. Sentinel Class Patrol Boat : Project Description, United States Coast Guard, 2008-10-16. Retrieved on 2009-10-09. mirror
  14. Christopher Lagan. UPDATED: First Sentinel Class cutter named for CG hero Webber, United States Coast Guard, 2010-03-19. Retrieved on 2011-04-24.
  15. CGC Richard Etheridge (WPC-1102), United States Coast Guard, 2011-02-24. Retrieved on 2011-05-23. mirror
  16. Bollinger awarded potential $1.5 billion FRC contract, Marine Log, 2009-09-26. Retrieved on 2009-10-10. mirror
  17. Fact sheet: Fast Response Cutter/Sentinel-class Patrol Boat, United States Coast Guard, 2009-09. Retrieved on 2009-10-11. mirror
  18. Keyon K. Jeff. Bollinger Shipyards delivers final Marine Protector-class CPB, Tri-Parish Times, 2009-10-11. Retrieved on 2009-10-11. mirror