Stratton HII's Third U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter Completes Sea Trials

Stratton (WMSL 752) Huntington Ingalls’ third U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter, returned from sea after successfully completing acceptance sea trials. The ship spent two days in the Gulf of Mexico effectively testing all of its systems for the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).

Stratton’s two days at sea proved her readiness and extraordinary capabilities,” said Mike Duthu, National Security Cutter (NSC) program manager for Ingalls Shipbuilding. “This successful sea trial is a positive reflection of the efficiencies established during the construction and testing of this ship. Our shipbuilders reduced the construction schedule compared to NSC 2 and improved vessel labor costs by reducing man-hours. Congratulations to our shipbuilders, the Coast Guard and our industry partners on a very successful start-to-finish plan.”

The NSC is the flagship of the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet, designed to replace the 378‐foot Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters, which entered service during the 1960s.

During acceptance trials, INSURV observed and evaluated Ingalls’ test and trials team as it conducted extensive testing of the propulsion, electrical, damage control, anchor handling, small boat and combat systems.

It’s a complex and comprehensive set of tests performed over the course of two days at sea,” said Richard Schenk, vice president, test and trials, Ingalls Shipbuilding. “Our team worked really efficiently around the clock and allowed Stratton to effectively demonstrate her seaworthiness and the full potential of her systems. The Coast Guard is getting a tremendous cutter with capabilities specifically designed to perform their missions.”

First Lady Michelle Obama is Stratton’s sponsor. She christened the ship at Ingalls Shipbuilding on July 23, 2010. Stratton is scheduled for delivery to the U.S. Coast Guard on Sept. 2.

Stratton is the third of eight planned ships in this new class of highly capable, technologically advanced multi-mission cutters. Bertholf and Waesche have been commissioned and are successfully executing Coast Guard missions. The construction contract for a fourth cutter, Hamilton, was awarded in November 2010, and construction will begin on Aug. 29.

Ingalls Shipbuilding builds the NSC hull, mechanical and electrical systems, while Lockheed Martin builds and integrates the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities onboard the cutters. Over the two-day trial period, all of the C4ISR systems were tested successfully, including the surface and air tracking radars as well as the communications and navigational systems.

NSCs are 418 feet long with a 54-foot beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 110.

The Legend-class NSC is capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the High-Endurance Cutter. The cutter includes an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary wing aircraft. It is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutters in the U.S. Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. This class of cutters plays an important role enhancing the Coast Guard’s operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. Employing nearly 38,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, its primary business divisions are Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding.

Source: Huntington Ingalls, August 14, 2011;

Posted on August 14, 2011