A federal omnibus spending bill for 2021 includes funding for four more Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters for the U.S. Coast Guard, which will be built in Louisiana.
The contract with Bollinger Shipyards increases the total number of funded boats to 64. All four of the newly appropriated FRCs will be built at Bollinger’s Lockport facility.
“It’s a great honor to have the confidence of the U.S. Congress to continue the work we’re doing in support of the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Bollinger Shipyards President & CEO Ben Bordelon. “The Fast Response Cutter program is something we’re all proud of here in Louisiana. Delivering vessels on schedule and on budget to the Coast Guard during these challenging times shows the determination and resiliency of our workforce.”
The FRC program has had a total economic impact of $1.2 billion since inception and directly supports 650 jobs in Southeast Louisiana. The program has indirectly created 1,690 new jobs from operations and capital investment and has an annual economic impact on GDP of $202 million, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) on the economic importance of the U.S. Shipbuilding and Repair Industry. Bollinger sources over 271,000 different items for the FRC consisting of 282 million components and parts from 965 suppliers in 37 states.
Bordelon says more than 600 of the company’s 1,500-plus employees have important roles related to the FRC program in jobs that might otherwise be in jeopardy.
The FRC is one of many U.S. Government shipbuilding programs benefitting Bollinger. The company is now participating in industry studies for five programs, including the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program, the U.S. Navy’s Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-Mission Platform (CHAMP) program, the U.S. Navy’s Auxiliary General Ocean Surveillance (T-AGOS(X)) program, The U.S. Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) program and the U.S. Navy’s Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program.