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Bollinger Shipyards delivers Fast Response Cutter Melvil Bell to US Coast Guard.

| 2023

According to information published by Bollinger Shipyards on November 16, 2023, the company has successfully delivered the Sentinel class cutter (FRC) USCGC Melvin Bell to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Florida.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Sentinel class cutter USCGC Melvin Bell. (Picture source: Bollinger Shipyards)

This vessel represents the 181st delivery by Bollinger to the U.S. Coast Guard over 35 years and is the 55th Fast Response Cutter (FRC) in the current series. The USCGC Melvin Bell is the final of six FRCs to be stationed in Boston, known as the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Sector Boston, where the cutter will be based, oversees maritime safety, security, and environmental protection across a significant area of the northeastern United States.

The Coast Guard's FY2024 Unfunded Priorities List includes plans to procure four more FRCs to enhance the U.S. presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Sentinel class cutter

The ship has a displacement of 353 long tons and a length of 46.8 meters. It boasts a beam of 8.11 meters and a depth of 2.9 meters. Powered by two 4,300 kW MTU diesel engines and a 75 kW bow thruster, the cutter can achieve speeds exceeding 28 knots. Its endurance is noteworthy, capable of remaining on patrol for 2,500 hours annually, covering 2,500 nautical miles over five days.

The FRC can carry one Cutter Boat – Over the Horizon – Jet-drive, and has a complement of 4 officers and 20 crew members. Its advanced sensor and processing systems include the L-3 C4ISR suite, AN/SPS-78 and AN/SPS-50 surface search radars, RADA RPS-42 MHR air search radar, and AN/APX-123(V)1 IFF. For defense, it is equipped with a Mk 38 Mod 2 25 mm Machine Gun System and four crew-served Browning M2 machine guns.

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