The US Coast Guard’s newest national security cutter, Stone (WMSL 758), has completed acceptance sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico, shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries announced.
The success comes some two years after construction on the ship started in September 2018. It is expected to enter service next year.
Stone is the ninth NSC that will be delivered to the coast guard by Ingalls Shipbuilding. An additional two ships are under construction and one additional under contract. Stone is scheduled to deliver later this year and will be homeported in Charleston, South Carolina.
“This ship, like all of the national security cutters we have delivered, will be capable of undertaking the most challenging coast guard missions with great capability and endurance,” Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said. “We are proud of our shipbuilders and the state-of-the-art design and construction of Stone, and we look forward to the ship’s upcoming delivery.”
NSC 9 was named to honor Coast Guard officer Commander Elmer “Archie” Fowler Stone, coast guard aviator number one, who made history in 1919 for being one of two coast guard pilots in the four man air crew who completed the first transatlantic flight in a navy seaplane.
The Legend-class NSC is the most technologically advanced ship in the coast guard’s fleet, which enables it to meet the high demands required for maritime and homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. NSCs are 418 feet long with a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 120.