USCG Island class
The United States Coast Guard Island class of cutters included approximately five dozen vessels. As originally built these vessels were crewed with sixteen personnel, were armed with a 25mm autocannon, and were capable of speeds of approximately thirty knots.
Following al-Qaeda's attacks on September 11, 2001, a plan called "Project Deepwater" was to modernize and re-equip the Coast Guard's fleet. The Island class cutters were to be lengthened from 110 to 123 feet.
The crew accommodation were to be modernized to comply with a new policy for all cutters to accommodate crews of mixed sex.
The lengthening added a stern launching ramp designed so the vessels could launch and retrieve a water-jet propelled rigid-hull inflatable Short Range Prosecutor high speed pursuit boat, without coming to a halt first.
Initially the first eight vessels to be modernized were described as a success. But later it emerged that the lengthened stern were structurally unsound, and the converted vessels were unseaworthy. The conversion had also gone several multiples over-budget. In 2007 the Coast Guard took over direct control of the Deepwater Program from the Prime Contractor. All current 123' cutters are now still in commission, but out of service.
Forty-nine of the original Island class vessels remain in active service. The unmodified vessels still have to come to a halt to launch a boat.
- Thad Allen. STATEMENT BY ADM. THAD ALLEN on the converted 123-foot patrol boats and changes to the Deepwater acquisition program, United States Coast Guard, 2007-04-17. Retrieved on 2008-06-26. mirror
- Jason Miller. Justice Department investigating Deepwater for possible fraud, Federal Computer Week, 2007-04-18. Retrieved on 2008-06-26.
- Renae Merle, Spencer Hsu. Coast Guard To Take Over 'Deepwater': Move Wrests Control From Consortium of Contractors, Washington Post, 2007-04-17, p. D01. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. mirror
- US Coast Guard Taking Over Lead Role for Deepwater Program, Defense Industry Daily, 2007-04-18. Retrieved on 2008-06-26. mirror