BATH, Maine — Bath Iron Works has released a rendering of the company’s proposed ship design for the U.S. Coast Guard’s next-generation Offshore Patrol Cutter program, a contract that would be worth $10 billion.
BIW was one of three shipyards chosen out of eight contenders to develop a proposed design for the ships. The preliminary design contract is worth $21.4 million.
The BIW rendering shows several features of the proposed ship, including a helicopter landing pad and a port-side bay for launching a rigid-hull inflatable boat.
According to the Coast Guard’s design specifications, the Offshore Patrol Cutter would be capable of launching two such boats while in motion. The inflatables would be used to intercept suspect vessels and rescue people in the water.
The Offshore Patrol Cutter is a next-generation ship that would replace the Coast Guard’s 210-foot and 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutters. It would feature greater range and endurance, more powerful weapons, a larger flight deck, and improved command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, the Coast Guard has said.
The ship would accommodate aircraft and small boat operations in all weather. Each ship would be manned by a crew of more than 100, according to Coast Guard estimates, and construction of the Offshore Patrol Cutter fleet would employ up to 2,500 workers. The actual number of ships to be built would depend on the cost per ship, which has yet to be determined.
The other two shipyards developing preliminary designs are Bollinger Shipyards Lockport in Lockport, La., and Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. in Panama City, Fla.