Propulsion System, Design, Tried & Trusty Preferred in USCG New Sentinels

By George Backwell at May 26, 2012 22:30
Filed Under: General

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) ‘Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter’ Bernard C. Webber,  was commissioned recently in the Port of Miami, the first in a new class of cutters from the Louisiana-based Bollinger Shipyards. Part of the USCG’s Deepwater programme, the Webber will based in Miami to conduct migrant and contraband interdiction missions throughout the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico; the Coastguard chose a tried and tusty propulsiion system and a well-proven ship design fot these new patrol boats.

Sentinel-class Propulsion System

The Sentinel Class is powered by two 20-cylinder MTU marine diesel engines with a patrol boat or light duty rating well in excess of 4,300 kW at 2,100 rpm driving twin propellors through ZF Marine 23560C transmissions. A bow thrust gives 75 kW power for manoeuvring.

ZF Marine 23560C Transmission Unit: Photo credit ZF Marine

Interestingly, ZF Marine has a long record of providing the USCG with propulsion machinery, and apparently their first transmissions were installed in the 110 ft ‘Island Class’ patrol vessels back in 1985. Today more than two-hundred cutters are sailing with ZF transmissions aboard.

ZF say their Marine Service organisation recently completed a five year re-manufacturing program with the USCG to rebuild and return to active service BW 755-1 and BW-1500 model marine transmissions, some of which have over 30,000 operating hours and still serve actively today.

USCG Fast Response Cutter Bernard C. Webber

The Sentinel-class is a USCG ‘parent craft’ design of the Damen Shipyard’s Stan 4708 patrol vessel which in one form or another is currently used by coastguard and navies on an international scale. The USCG coined the term ‘parent craft design’ to describe their choice of this, a well-proven ship design that had successfully performed equivalent missions. By choosing this route they aim to speed up delivery of new cutters presently on order in the programme as replacements for an extremely elderly fleet that faces increased demands for maritime safety and security patrols.

Fast Response Cutter 'Bernard C. Webber': Photo credit USCG

The Sentinel-class contract with the Bollinger Shipyard is for eight patrol boats (with options for more) like the Webber, 154 feet in length, capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots, armed with one stabilised, remotely operated 25 mm chain gun and four crew-served .50 caliber machine guns.  The design includes a stern ramp for launching short-range prosecutor (SRP) rigid-hull inflatable boats.

The cutters are required to perform independently with a crew of 24 on board for a minimum of 5 days at sea, and to be underway for 2,500 hours per year; reason enough to go for the tried and trusty.

 

 

 

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