March 06, 2008

Cancel the National Security Cutters?

Over at Danger Room David Axe reports on a Defense News story that suggests that at least some of the big National Security Cutters may be replaced by the (as yet undesigned) Offshore Patrol Cutters.

Given that the size and capabilities of the proposed OPC seem very close to the current high endurance cutters of the Hamilton class,  this seems quite logical to me. If costs are held down and If the lessons learned from the Bertholf fiasco are applied, then this is probably the best course. Brickmuppet Blog is on the record as being in favor of procuring a larger number of more austere vessels for the Coast Guard, as opposed to gold plated vessels like the NSC. In the Navy such a policy will likely lead to inferior deathtrap warships…In the Coast Guard it fits our primary peacetime and warm war functions perfectly. The USCG doesn't really need a full electronics suite, let alone AEGIS, after all, these are offshore patrol vessels.

   I find this to be encouraging news.

UPDATE: Grammar fixed....

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 09:39 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 179 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Learning that the Coasties have a 'Hamilton' class of ships just bolstered my faith in America.

Posted by: astro at Sun Mar 9 07:05:40 2008 (DSm6K)

2

Astro, I'm not sure what pun you're referring to. The Hamiltons are great ships, fast and powerful. They're designed as intercept ships and they can do better than 27 knots.

But they're getting old. The whole Coast guard fleet is getting old.

Still, they are pretty ships. Unlike the Navy, which paints its ships drab colors to blend in, the Coast Guard paints their ships brightly because they want to be seen.

For non-Navy ships, they're pretty well armed. There's a 75 mm gun turret in front, and a 20 mm Phalanx defense system in the rear, plus one 25-mm machine gun (or automatic cannon, depending on who you ask) on each side.

They carry a helicopter, too. Nice ships, for what they're designed to do. They'd be great commerce raiders, except that's not what the Coast Guard is about.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sun Mar 9 12:59:12 2008 (+rSRq)

3 Actually, effectively they are commerce raiders, except that they're white-hats. They're not trying to be pirates, they're trying to find and foil smugglers. But those ships are designed to chase and stop cargo carriers, and they're really good at it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sun Mar 9 13:01:31 2008 (+rSRq)

4 I don't think Astro was punning.
Hamilton was an exceedingly visionary and important founding father.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Tue Mar 11 10:31:40 2008 (EjAH7)

5 Sorry for the late response - I didn't think anybody would take offense to my comment. Ken got it right - I admire Hamilton and think it's a shame he's known for little more than the face on the $10. Having a class of ships named after you is one of the highest honors our country can bestow.

I'll admit my ignorance about the Coastie fleet. That just surprised me and I thought it was awesome.

Posted by: astro at Wed Mar 12 20:59:53 2008 (DSm6K)

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