PASCAGOULA, Miss., Nov. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries' (NYSE:HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division's fourth National Security Cutter, Hamilton (WMSL 753), sailed away from the shipyard on Saturday afternoon. The U.S. Coast Guard ship will be commissioned on Dec. 6 in Charleston, S.C.
"The U.S. Coast Guard is receiving our finest NSC to date," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. "We are performing well in this program, and we expect to continue improving our learning over the next four ships in the class. This program shows what can be accomplished with serial production in terms of affordability and quality. We wish Capt. Douglas Fears and his crew the best, and I congratulate our NSC team of shipbuilders on a job well done."
The ship was delivered to the Coast Guard on Sept. 15, 2014, and the crew of Hamilton officially took possession of the ship. At the end of the summer, Ingalls' test and trials team successfully completed acceptance trials on the ship by conducting extensive testing of the propulsion, anchor handling, steering and combat systems for the Board of Inspection and Survey.
Many shipbuilders gathered to watch Hamilton leave Pascagoula for her final sea voyage to her eventual homeport in Charleston.
"It's a very proud moment for my team and me," said Derek Murphy, NSC 4's program manager. "For the last three years, we put everything we had into ensuring this ship was successful, and now the moment has come to say good-bye. Our team performed exceptionally well, and this is the best NSC yet. It's important to note this team has benefitted from building the previous three NSCs, and we are already well into the construction of the fifth and sixth ships. The hot production line greatly improves our efficiency from ship to ship, and these ships will be no different."
Ingalls has delivered four NSCs, and three more are currently under construction. A seventh NSC, Kimball (WMSL 756), is scheduled to begin construction 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: