The Coast Guard’s now-under-construction and quickly rising Offshore Patrol Cutter ship (OPC) will hit the ocean subsequent yr, bringing new strategic and tactical dimensions to homeland protection and multi-service information sharing to the U.S. Navy and the Pentagon.
This ongoing development effort consists of an initiative to engineer new dimensions of ship expertise by means of a collaborative partnership between Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) and Northrop Grumman, meant to offer the intelligence, reconnaissance, and communications methods to optimize ESG’s OPC imaginative and prescient and design for the ship.
Working in shut coordination with ESG to make sure that the ship’s technical infrastructure aligned with ESG’s structural imaginative and prescient for the ship, design specs and technical necessities, Northrop Grumman is constructing the Integrated Bridge System, an built-in set of applied sciences connecting the helm and management facilities to the ship’s propulsion, steering and navigation. As a part of its contribution, Northrop Grumman additionally supplies the ship’s Computing Community System, Equipment Management System and Propulsion Management System together with the screens and controls for the ship’s propulsion energy plant. Curiously, Northrop Grumman has leveraged a number of the commonality with leading edge expertise it has constructed into different Navy and Coast Guard ships to optimize technical efficiency and guarantee sustained upgradeability.
The superior networking and surveillance expertise is of vital significance to the Coast Guard’s OPC imaginative and prescient, partially as a result of the service is trying to purchase twenty-five new ships to replace an existing fleet of now lower than thirty medium-endurance Hamilton cutters.
“That is the most important acquisition within the historical past of the U.S. Coast Guard. We’re accountable for almost all of the C4ISR capabilities on the OPC; together with the command and management system, communications, navigation by means of the built-in bridge system, the shipboard laptop community system, navigation and fight system information distribution system, floor search radars, main and secondary gyrocompasses, in addition to different navigational sensors. Our key aims have been to ship inexpensive options and maintain this system on observe,” Michael Corrigan, Web site Director of the Northrop Grumman facility in Charlottesville Virginia, the place the tools is constructed and examined, instructed The Nationwide Curiosity.
A have to optimize the scope of obtainable sources and propulsion effectivity is a part of why the brand new ESG ship is constructed with an auxiliary hybrid electric-diesel propulsion methods to extend effectivity and loitering functionality, a primary within the CG fleet.
“In case you are doing surveillance, you should utilize the ship service turbines and electrical energy to cruise at an inexpensive velocity to protect your gasoline,” Adm. Robert Papp (RET), former Coast Guard Commandant and present President of the DC places of work of ESG, instructed The Nationwide Curiosity.
Papp defined that the engineering imaginative and prescient for the ship has, since its inception, relied upon this tactical and technical method emphasizing networking to, amongst different issues, broaden the surveillance attain for medium endurance cutters. Having spent years serving on and commanding now decades-old medium endurance cutters, Papp added that their surveillance capabilities have been usually restricted to a floor ship radar “one thing inside about 20 miles.”
“Now, due to C4ISR and the flexibility to share satellite tv for pc information and plane information, we will make our ships smarter. As an alternative of simply looking out, you may direct ships precisely the place they should look,” Papp added.
Kris Osborn is the protection editor for the Nationwide Curiosity. Osborn beforehand served on the Pentagon as a Extremely Certified Knowledgeable with the Workplace of the Assistant Secretary of the Military—Acquisition, Logistics & Expertise. Osborn has additionally labored as an anchor and on-air navy specialist at nationwide TV networks. He has appeared as a visitor navy professional on Fox Information, MSNBC, The Army Channel, and The Historical past Channel. He additionally has a Masters Diploma in Comparative Literature from Columbia College.
Picture: Japanese Shipbuilding Group.