April 22, 2012

Danish Dutch design helps rescue the US Coast Guard from further embarrassment

Filed under: Military, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 12:01

Strategy Page on the US Coast Guard’s latest cutters:

The U.S. Coast Guard recently commissioned the first of 58 “Fast Response Cutters.” These are 46.8 meter (154 feet) long, 353 ton vessels equipped with a 8 meter (25 foot) rigid hull boat launched and recovered internally from a ramp in the stern (rear) of the ship. Armament of the cutter (as seagoing coast guard ships are called) consists of a remotely controlled 25mm autocannon and four 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine-guns, plus small arms. Top speed is 52 kilometers an hour and the crew of 22 has sleeping and eating facilities on board so the ship can be at sea five days at a time (and 2,500 hours, or over 100 days, a year at sea). The Fast Response Cutter is basically a slightly larger version of the Danish Dutch Damen Stan 4207 patrol vessel.

The Danish Dutch design was selected four years ago because, a year before the Coast Guard was finally forced to admit defeat in its effort to build an earlier design for 58 new patrol ships (Fast Response Cutters.) The ship builders (Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman) screwed up, big time. While the Coast Guard shares some of the blame, for coming up with new concepts that didn’t work out, the shipbuilders are the primary culprits because they are, well, the shipbuilding professionals, and signed off on the Coast Guard concepts. Under intense pressure from media, politicians and the shame of it all the Coast Guard promptly went looking for an existing (off-the-shelf) design, and in a hurry. That’s become urgent because of an earlier screw up.

Six years ago, the Coast Guard discovered that a ship upgrade program made the modified ships structurally unsound and subject to breaking up in heavy seas

Update: Thanks to eagle-eyed commenter Guan Yang who pointed out that the design is actually Dutch, not Danish. I’ve modified the quoted text to match the correct information.


  1. Dutch, not Danish.

    Comment by Guan Yang — April 22, 2012 @ 13:37

  2. Right you are, the ships are of Dutch design, not Danish (as stated in the original article). Here’s the Wikipedia page on the class.

    Comment by Nicholas — April 22, 2012 @ 23:41

  3. Hmmm. Looking at the specific page for the “Marine Protector” class, the dates don’t match what Strategy Page had either:

    The Marine Protector class is a class of coastal patrol boats of the United States Coast Guard. The 87-foot-long vessels are based on the Stan 2600 design by Damen Group, and were built by Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, Louisiana. Each boat is named after a marine predator.

    The Coast Guard placed its original order in 1999 for 50 boats, which were delivered by mid-2002.[2] Several additional orders brought the class to a total of 73 ships, with the last, USCGC Sea Fox, being completed in October 2009. [3] Four additional vessels were built for Foreign Military Sales, with two each going to Malta and Yemen.[4]

    Comment by Nicholas — April 22, 2012 @ 23:47

  4. Strategy Page has silently updated the original with the same edits I’ve made in my original excerpt. I’d have preferred it if they at least acknowledged that they’d made an error and a correction.

    Comment by Nicholas — April 24, 2012 @ 08:37

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