Eastern Shipbuilding to begin construction of first offshore patrol cutter for US Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard has given Eastern Shipbuilding its approval to begin construction of Argus, the first ship of a new type of vessel known as the offshore patrol cutter (OPC).

These vessels will provide a capability bridge between the national security cutters, which patrol the open ocean, and the fast response cutters, which operate closer to shore.

The OPCs will be capable of carrying an MH-60R or MH-65 helicopter and three operational over-the-horizon (OTH) small boats. The vessels will also be equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system and a C4ISR suite.

Argus will have a length of 109.72 metres, a width of 16.45 metres, and a draught of 5.18 metres.

It will have a cruising speed of 22 knots and a range of 8,500 nautical miles.

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