Class of Up To 25 Vessels Planned
Babcock International has been awarded a contract to provide platform engineering design for the design and construction phases of the United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) new Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) vessels. Production of the lead vessel is due to start in late 2018 and scheduled for completion in 2021. Up to eight follow-on ships are included in this initial contract; the USCG plans to build up to 25 OPCs.
Babcock has supplied engineering support services to Team Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) for the past two years and has brought a wealth of experience to the development of the OPC design, the build strategy and the electrical systems. The company will deliver a whole-ship 3D model, selected systems and production support as part of the new design work, underpinning the programme with detailed modelling, production outputs and the detailed design of auxiliary systems, structure, outfit and electrical systems.
Elements of the work will be subcontracted to VARD, building on a successful design relationship with Babcock to develop Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Irish Naval Service. The design for manufacturing support developed for the Irish OPVs, at Babcock’s Appledore yard, has informed the approach being taken with Team ESG. Naval and coastguard ship design experience at Babcock ranges from new build to in-service support and from small craft to the QUEEN ELIZABETH-class aircraft carriers for the UK MoD. The new contract expands a growing list of international clients.
Babcock’s detailed design work will help Team ESG to make the OPC as simple to produce as possible. The OPC incorporates as many systems and parts as a light frigate or OPV and is comparable in size at about 110m length, 4,000t displacement. It will have a range of 10,200nmi while carrying a helicopter, boats and unmanned systems. Each OPC will feature a flight deck, weapons and C4ISR equipment.