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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 05:51 AM
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New CG cutter sails for machinery trials
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New CG cutter sails for machinery trials
By Philip Ewing - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Dec 7, 2007 16:06:54 EST

The Coast Guards first next-generation national security cutter, the Bertholf, put to sea Tuesday for the first time to test its engines and other systems, the Coast Guard announced.

The multi-day cruise marks the first time the ship has sailed under its own power; the 418-foot, 4,300-ton cutter, and the $24 billion Deepwater modernization program that produced it, have been criticized since before construction began in 2004.

The ships machinery trials are the first of three sets of at-sea tests before the $641 million cutter is officially handed over to the Coast Guard early in 2008. Its first homeport is expected to be Alameda, Calif.

Engineers with contractor Northrop Grumman, which built the ship in Pascagoula, Miss., are testing the Bertholfs combined diesel-and-gas propulsion system, which is the first of its kind aboard a Coast Guard vessel. It also is the first Coast Guard ship with two aircraft hangars, and its flight deck is bigger than a Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The Bertholf is designed to have a range of 12,000 nautical miles and a top speed of around 28 knots.

The lifesaving service plans to build eight of the cutters. The second in the class, the Waesche, is scheduled to launch in April. Deepwater contractor Integrated Coast Guard Systems announced Nov. 30 that the Waesche was 42 percent complete and that shipyard workers had stepped the cutters mast Nov. 28. Based on lessons learned from the Bertholf, work was progressing more efficiently on the Waesche, IGCS said.

Rest of article at:

uhc comment: Deepwater modernization program is run by EADS North America. Susan Collins and Joementum are driving acceleration of the program. Even the Heritage Foundation chimed in.

Occasionally, sanity rises -->

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