Huntington Ingalls Industries launched the US Coast Guard’s milestone tenth Legend-class national security cutter Calhoun (WMSL 759) at its Ingalls Shipbuilding division on April 2.
The launch of Calhoun is the first of a series of significant milestone events in bringing the ship to life.
“The national security cutters are critically important to the safety and security of our country,” said Kari Wilkinson, president of HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division. “I am very proud of our NSC team who continues to build efficiencies into a mature program line to deliver the Coast Guard’s most advanced cutters. Our shipbuilders are proud and honored to build these magnificent ships, and we know that this ship named after the first Master Chief Petty of the Coast Guard, Charles L. Calhoun, has special meaning for the US Coast Guard.”
With the assistance of tugs, Calhoun came off the floating dry dock Saturday, after first being translated via Ingalls’ rail car system. The dock was moved away from the pier and then ballasted to float off the ship.
Ingalls Shipbuilding is the sole designer and provider of the Coast Guard Legend-class national security cutter. The flagship of the Coast Guard fleet, NSCs are capable of embarking and supporting a range of Coast Guard, Navy and NATO manned and unmanned aircraft. NSCs have proven to be ideal platforms for drug interdiction, global illegal fishing, disaster relief and defense support operations.
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 cutters are armed with six .50 caliber machine guns, one MK 110 57 mm turret mounted gun, 3D air search radar, aircraft hangars and a stern launch ramp for mission boats.
Ingalls has delivered nine Legend-class NSCs, and two more are under construction. In November of 2020, the ninth NSC, Stone (WMSL 758), was delivered to the Coast Guard and proceeded to conduct an unprecedented 68-day shakedown patrol, which resulted in a drug bust within two weeks of sail away and an extensive illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing enforcement patrol off the coast of South America.
Calhoun is scheduled to be christened at Ingalls Shipbuilding in June 2022 and expected to be delivered in early 2023.