Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Fast Response Cutter-B and Replacement Patrol Boat
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: FRC-B
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2010
Total Production: ?
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Description: The Fast Response Cutter (FRC) is an all composite littoral warfare patrol vessel being developed by Northrop-Grumman for the replacement of US Coast Guard aging fleet of Island-class boats. The FRC is being developed within the $11 billion Deepwater program framework awarded to Lockheed-Martin and Northrop-Grumman in June 2002. It is expected that the FRC incorporates composite shipbuilding technologies from Swedish Kockums company such as those employed on the Visby-class corvette. The US Coast Guard's Integrated Deepwater Systems program calls for the procurement of 58 FRC cutters.
The US Coast Guard should had approved the final FRC design in August 2005 but due to technical issues and unavailability of suitable composite hull technologies the decision was delayed with the restructuring of the FRC program. The US Coast Guard decided to go through the FRC program using a dual approach: the original composite hull vessel was re-named FRC-A; and a new low-risk steel hull vessel named Replacement Patrol Boat or FRC-B. Both ships are expected to respond to post 11 September requirements expressed by the United States Armed Forces and Homeland Defense agencies.
The US Coast Guard intends to procure between 12 to 34 FRC-B boats from 2010 as part of an urgent need for more endurance hours. The FRC-B will be based on an existing in-production design. Typical missions will include near-shore fisheries patrol, migrant and drug interdiction, barrier patrols and augmenting patrols in areas of concern. The FRC-B boat will be equipped with a stabilized 25mm gun and .50 caliber machine guns. The US Coast Guard issued the FRC-B Request for Proposal (RFP) on June 22, 2007. The first FRC-B is projected to be commissioned by the Coast Guard in the first half of 2010.
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