Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPC), the Other LCS

Chuck Hill's CG Blog

This is another post I prepared for Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) as part of “Corvette Week.”

The US Coast Guard is currently in the first part or a two part program to select a design for a planned class of 25 ships referred to as Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPC) also called the Maritime Security Cutter, Medium (WMSM). In many respects these might be thought of a third class of Littoral Combat Ships. They have different characteristics and different strengths and weaknesses, but there is considerable overlap in there characteristics. Like the LCS they will be small, shallow draft, helicopter equipped warships with the 57mm Mk110 gun. It seems likely the OPC will be 2,500 to 3,500 tons, similar in size to the Freedom and Independence class LCS.

The existing LCS classes emphasize adaptability, are faster and have more spacious aviation facilities. The cutters will emphasize seakeeping and will:

  • have greater range (minimum 7,500…

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It’s all about the littorals… Rolls Royce unveils OPV design

Rolls Royce unveils its new patrol vessel (to be available in 55, 75 and 90-metre flavours). The new vessels will be in direct competition with of the BAE Systems OPV, the National Security Cutter and the Navantia BAM. It a world where littoral warfare, counter-piracy and counter-narcotics operations are increasingly part of of a modern navy’s operational demand, a well-designed OPV is arguably better “bang for your buck” than the LCS or an undersized frigate.

Rolls-Royce unveils new maritime patrol vessel design

Rolls-Royce has unveiled a new design of maritime patrol craft at the Defence & Security Event International (DSEI) in London.

Rolls-Royce unveils new maritime patrol vessel design

The first of a ‘protection vessel family’ of designs, is a new 55-metre craft featuring a range of equipment from Rolls-Royce (stabilisers, thrusters, steering gear, fixed pitch propellers) and MTU (diesels, diesel generators, Callosum IPMS), offering a cost-effective design that can be tailored to mission requirements.

Weighing around 500 tonnes, the new vessel is suited to patrol, search and rescue and interception duties. A 90-metre version of the craft will be on offer by the end of the year, with a 75-metre design following in 2014.

Garry Mills, Rolls-Royce, Chief of Naval Ship Design, said: “Coastal protection and offshore patrol vessels is a growing sector and this new design offers multi-purpose capability, incorporating core design elements that are replicated across the family of vessels.

“Our customers often face short timescales in the procurement of this type of craft, and having a scalable, cost effective offering is essential.

“There is a growing trend of commercial marine technology crossing into naval markets as governments seek cost reduction through proven capability. Naval vessels generally comprise many disparate and complex technologies, and that’s what Rolls-Royce, with its broad product base, is good at integrating bespoke whole-ship systems to minimise programme risk.”

Building on its success in the commercial marine market, Rolls-Royce established its Bristol-based naval ship design team last year which is focused on four key naval vessel types – naval auxiliaries, offshore/coastal patrol vessels, fast attack craft and naval ice-breakers.


http://www.rolls-royce.com/news/press_releases/2013/06092013_patrol_vessel_design.jsp