HII begins construction of the last Legend-class cutter for the USCG

USCGC Kimball (WMSL 756) (Source: USCG)

Huntington Ingalls Industries Shipbuilding division announced today the start of fabrication of Legend-class national security cutter Friedman (NSC 11). The start of fabrication signifies the first 100 tons of steel have been cut, HII announced with a press release.

“Our workforce has invested more than a decade of effort, creativity and resolve to make the Legend-class national security cutter production line incredibly efficient and strong,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Kari Wilkinson said. “We are pleased to achieve this milestone and will continue to look for any additional opportunity in our processes and approaches to provide the most affordable and capable ships to our customers.”

NSC 11 is named to honor Elizebeth Smith Friedman. Friedman was a code breaker during the Prohibition Era who, as a civilian, intercepted and solved coded messages from racketeers and gangs and delivered them to the Coast Guard. During World War II, she worked against German espionage communications and developed information that was critical to counterintelligence work in the Southern Hemisphere. Friedman’s work resulted in hundreds of criminal prosecutions, saved thousands of lives and laid the groundwork for the science of cryptology and the establishment of the modern-day National Security Agency.

About Legend-class cutters:

The Legend-class NSC is the most technologically advanced ship in the Coast Guard’s fleet, which enables it to meet the high demands required for maritime and homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions.

legend class
The Coast Guard Cutter Waesche transits through the San Francisco Bay for the first time en route to its homeport of Alameda, Calif., Feb. 28, 2010. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by PO Kevin Metcalf)

NSC has an overall length of 127.4m (418ft), a beam of 16.4m (54ft), and a draft of 6.8m (22.5ft). The full load displacement is 4,500t. The ship can accommodate a crew of 120.

The main gun fitted forward is an MK110 57mm gun. It can fire at a rate of up to 220 rounds a minute for a range of nine miles. Close-in air defence capability is provided with a 20mm close-in weapon system (CIWS).

The Legend-class NSC is equipped with X&S band surface search radar, EADS 3D air search radar, SPQ-9B fire control radar, and Mk46 electro-optical / infrared sensor.

The 50ft x 80ft flight deck can support the operations of a range of manned and unmanned rotary-wing aircraft. It can accommodate an MH-65C or MH-60T and two vertical launch unmanned aerial vehicles or other combinations. It is also provided with a hangar for aircraft storage.

The NSC is powered by a combined diesel and gas turbine (CODAG) propulsion system, integrating a GE LM2500 gas turbine and two MTU 20V1163 diesel engines.

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