Pascagoula May 4, 2015 - Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today that the company's fifth U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter (NSC), James (WMSL 754), has successfully completed her acceptance trials. The Ingalls-built NSC spent two full days in the Gulf of Mexico proving the ship's systems.
"Once again our shipbuilding team proved their mettle as the ship performed well," said Jim French, Ingalls' NSC program manager. "The National Security Cutter program continues to prove the benefits of serial production, and we incorporate our learning from ship to ship. This allows us to build ships affordably, maintain the industrial base and fold in knowledge from our shipbuilders. The Coast Guard continues to give us positive feedback, and this sea trial was no exception."
With the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) on board, Ingalls' test and trials team led the sea trials and conducted extensive testing of the propulsion, electrical, damage control, anchor handling, small boat operations and combat systems. The team also completed a full-power propulsion run on James.
"The acceptance trial is hard work, and the Ingalls/Coast Guard team came together to ensure James had a successful two-day run," said Richard Schenk, Ingalls' vice president, program management and test and trials. "In this two-day span, the Ingalls team performed 131 different events and showed INSURV the outstanding abilities of James. It was a total team effort."
Ingalls has delivered four NSCs and has three more, including James, under construction. Earlier this year, a construction contract was awarded for an eighth NSC.
The ship is named to honor Capt. Joshua James, one of the world's most celebrated lifesavers. His lifesaving experience began at age 15 when he joined the Massachusetts Humane Society. Over the years, he was credited for saving more than 600 lives until the time of his death at age 75. He was on duty with the U.S. Life-Saving Service, which later merged into the U.S. Coast Guard.
"It's a great feeling to see the hard work by our shipbuilders come to fruition in a successful sea trial," said Jim McKinney, Ingalls' NSC 5 program manager. "We continue to make improvements in this program through the talent and experience of our NSC team. We have some fit and finish issues to complete, and then we'll be ready to deliver James in June, so the Coast Guard men and women can take over this tremendous asset for the country's national security."
National Security Cutters, the flagships of the Coast Guard's cutter fleet, are designed to replace the 378-foot Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters, which entered service during the 1960s. 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 120.
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 cutter in the Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. The Legend class of cutters plays an important role in enhancing the Coast Guard's operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.