US Coast Guard takes delivery of 20th fast response cutter

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has taken delivery of the 20th fast response cutter (FRC) at Lawrence Lawson, in Key West, Florida.

This ship will be the second FRC stationed in Cape May, New Jersey.

It is scheduled for commissioning in early 2017.

The cutter is named after Lawrence Lawson, who, as keeper of the Evanston, Illinois, Lifeboat Station, led the rescue of 18 crewmembers from the foundering steam vessel Calumet on 28 November, 1889.

The Coast Guard is obtaining 58 FRCs to patrol coastal regions and replace the 1980s-era 110-foot Island-class patrol boats.

With 154 feet long, the cutter have endurance for five days and come with advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.

The cutter has the ability to launch and recover standardised cutter boats from astern or via side davits; and improved seakeeping and habitability.

Of the 38 FRCs ordered, 18 are in service: six in Key West, six in Miami, and six in San Juan.

The 19th FRC is scheduled for commissioning in November and will be the first FRC stationed in Cape May.

The FRC is complemented by the national security cutter (NSC), which serves in the open ocean, and will later be accompanied by the offshore patrol cutter, which will bridge the capabilities of the FRC and NSC.