The US Coast Guard’s newest Legend-class national security cutter, Stone (WMSL 758), departed Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division on December 22, for its homeport in Charleston, South Carolina.
Stone is heading for its homeport after starting construction in 2018 and completing sea trials in October this year. The cutter will be commissioned in early 2021 in Charleston, where sister ships Hamilton (WMSL 753) and James (WMSL 754) are also based.
“I cannot think of a better ending to 2020 than seeing the look of pride on the faces of our shipbuilders as Stone sails away from our shipyard to join the coast guard’s cutter fleet,” Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said.
Ingalls is the builder-of-record for the Legend-class NSC program and has delivered nine cutters with one more under construction and one additional under contract.
Stone is named to honor Coast Guard 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 trans-Atlantic 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.
The coast guard flagships are armed with six .50 caliber machine guns, one MK 110 57 mm turret mounted gun, 3D air search radar, aircraft hangers and a stern launch ramp for mission boats.