US Coast Guard granted permission to the Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) Florida to commence the lead offshore patrol cutter (OPC) construction and to purchase long lead-time materials for the second OPC.

The OPC is based on the VARD 7 110 design. As production engineering is approaching its final stages, Vard Marine and team partners are supporting ESG through construction and delivery.

The 110m-long OPC will be the largest vessel in Vard Marine’s extensive portfolio of offshore patrol vessel (OPV) designs.

US Coast Guard exercised contract options with ESG to grant the permission that enabled the production phase of the program to proceed.

The program is currently the largest in the US Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security’s history.

The OPC meets the US Service’s long-term need for cutters capable of deploying independently or as part of task groups and is essential to stopping smugglers at sea, interdicting undocumented migrants, rescuing mariners, enforcing fisheries laws, responding to disasters and protecting the ports.

The acquisition of 25 OPCs will complement the capabilities of the Service’s national security cutters, fast response cutters and polar security cutters as an essential element of the Department of Homeland Security’s layered security strategy.

Delivery of the USCGC ARGUS lead OPC is scheduled for 2021.

Another contract option was also exercised for long lead-time items, including propeller and steering components, marine diesel engines, a ship integrated control system, switchboards and generators for the second USCGC CHASE OPC.

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