Coast Guard Orders fourth National Security Cutter from Northrop Grumman

by: Matthew Potter
December 1, 2010

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Events, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Corp., production program, Services, U.S. Navy, USCG | RSS 2.0

Despite their potential plans to exit the shipbuilding business as well as moving ahead with closing some of their existing shipyards Northrop Grumman (NOC) still is receiving contracts for new ships. This is on top of their existing work refitting U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and other ships as well as participating in the building of amphibious ships and destroyers.

The latest contract they received was from the U.S. Coast Guard who ordered the fourth National Security Cutter (NSC) from the company. This contract is worth almost five hundred million dollars. So far two of the ships have been delivered with a third under construction.

The National Security or Legend class cutter is one of the new ships, aircraft and other systems that the U.S.C.G. included in their Deepwater System program to provide major upgrades to their capability. They are large ships with comprehensive electronic systems and have high speed and long range to enable them to patrol a larger area more efficiently.

Northrop has used the NSC hull and design as the basis for a rapidly available frigate design offered to the U.S. Navy. This would be used to support the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) under construction by General Dynamics (GD) and Lockheed Martin (LMT).

The U.S. demand for combat ships is being reduced and further budget pressure may reduce them even more. This has led Northrop to discuss exiting the shipbuilding business completely. There have already been companies offering to buy the capability but the large defense contractor has yet to move on the sale.

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