Coast Guard Makes Its Point with C4ISR Systems

Stratton successfully completes builder’s sea trials after three days of extensive tests in Gulf of Mexico


file The Stratton recently completed builder’s sea trials and will become the Coast Guard’s third National Security Cutter when it is commissioned in 2012.

The United States Coast Guard will soon add another “spear” to its arsenal.

The Stratton (WMSL 752) successfully completed builder’s sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico on July 1, bringing it a major step closer to joining the Coast Guard’s fleet. Sponsored by First Lady Michelle Obama, the Stratton will become the Coast Guard’s third National Security Cutter (NSC) when it is commissioned in 2012.

During the three-day trials, the ship underwent extensive testing of the propulsion, electrical, damage control, anchor handling, small boat and combat systems, as well as the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems.

Lockheed Martin integrates the C4ISR systems, including the command and control, communications and navigational systems, while Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding builds the NSC hull, mechanical and electrical systems.

The C4ISR systems provide real-time actionable intelligence communicated at “light speed,” according to the Coast Guard’s Commandant for Command, Control, Communications & Information Technology Rear Admiral Robert Day in a Second Line of Defense article last December. The NSC can now act as “the point of the spear” because the C4ISR system can locate a target and guide the ship directly to it.

The Stratton is the latest of eight planned ships in this new class of highly capable, technologically advanced multi-mission cutters. The first two NSCs – the Bertholf and Waesche – havebeen commissioned and are successfully executing Coast Guard missions. NSCs measure 418 feet long, with a 54-foot beam and a top speed of 28 knots. They have a range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 110.

The NSC’s C4ISR systems give the Coast Guard comprehensive, real-time situational awareness, commonality and interoperability with other government agencies and organizations. In addition to the NSC, Lockheed Martin provided the C4ISR missionization pallets for the Coast Guard’s HC-130J and HC-144A aircraft. Lockheed Martin recently received a $66 million contract from Huntington Ingalls to supply the C4ISR system to NSC 4.