PASCAGOULA, Miss., Nov. 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries' (NYSE:HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division today authenticated the keel of the sixth U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter, Munro (WMSL 755).
"At this stage of construction, the NSC 6 is more complete and has better cost performance than any previous NSC," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. "Working together, the Ingalls and Coast Guard team continues to identify opportunities to improve our performance and provide our customer with the highest-quality ship at the lowest possible cost. We are excited to be building Munro, and we're ready to work with our friends in the Coast Guard to build more cutters when they are ready."
The ship is named to honor Coast Guard Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro. Munro died heroically on Sept. 27, 1942, on Guadalcanal. Having volunteered to evacuate a detachment of Marines who were facing annihilation by a large and unanticipated enemy force, he succeeded in safely extricating them and in doing so was mortally wounded.
For his heroic and selfless actions in the completion of this rescue mission, Munro was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He is the Coast Guard's sole recipient of the award.
"Courage is a foundational element of the Coast Guard, and there is no better example of courage than Douglas Munro," said Capt. James Hurley, commanding officer, Project Resident Office, Gulf Coast, who also read Munro's Medal of Honor citation in its entirety. "The entire Coast Guard team is appreciative for the hard work and dedication of the men and women of Ingalls Shipbuilding. The Coast Guard and the nation depend on your skills to provide the ships we use to complete our many missions around the world. Thank you for your consistent improvement efforts on the NSC program. You have become better with each successive cutter."
Representing Julie Sheehan, Munro's great-niece and the ship's sponsor, Cuccias said the keel of Munro was "truly and fairly laid." Sheehan's initials were welded onto a keel plate by Ingalls structural welder Roderick P. Funches.
Ingalls has delivered four NSCs, and three more are currently under construction. In addition to Munro, the fifth NSC, James (WMSL 754) will deliver in 2015, and the seventh NSC, Kimball (WMSL 756), is scheduled to start fabrication in early 2015.
Legend-class NSCs are the flagships of the Coast Guard's cutter fleet. Designed to replace the 378‐foot Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters that entered service during the 1960s, they are 418 feet long with a 54-foot beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 120.
NSCs are capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the High-Endurance Cutter. They include an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary-wing aircraft. The Legend class is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. NSCs play an important role enhancing the Coast Guard's operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.
About Huntington Ingalls Industries
Huntington Ingalls Industries designs, builds and manages the life-cycle of the most complex nuclear and conventionally-powered ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. For more than a century, HII's Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII also provides engineering and project management services expertise to the commercial energy industry, the Department of Energy and other government customers. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs more than 39,000 people operating both domestically and internationally. For more information, visit: