Shipbuilding News

Austal USA awards FMD contract for OPC equipment

Austal USA has awarded Fairbanks Morse Defense (FMD) a contract for a range of equipment to support the construction of WMSM-919, the U.S. Coast Guard’s fifth Heritage-class Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC).

Over the past few years, Fairbanks Morse Defense, a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management, has made a series of acquisitions of long-established marine supplier brands and the Austal USA contract includes systems from multiple FMD brands, reinforcing its position as a single-source defense contractor capable of providing fully integrated solutions for maritime defense.

“Receiving this contract from Austal encapsulates what we’ve been working toward in recent years through the acquisition of several strategic maritime suppliers,” said FMD CEO George Whittier. “The industry recognizes the tremendous added value we can bring through our ability to provide projects with a comprehensive equipment portfolio that spans all of our brands. We look forward to working with Austal on this program and further demonstrating our wide range of capabilities.”

Four of FMD’s recently acquired companies will be involved in the OPC contract. The cross-company package for WMSM-919 includes the following:

  • Main propulsion diesel engines (2) through Fairbanks Morse Defense
  • Hangar door (1) through Federal Equipment Company (FEC)
  • Stores elevator (1) through Federal Equipment Company (FEC)
  • Reverse osmosis system (1) through Maxim Watermakers
  • All-electric davits (2) through Welin Lambie
  • Various electrical components (cable trays, light supports, piping supports, down comers, stuffing tubes, etc.) through Research, Tool & Die (RT&D)

In July 2022, Austal USA was awarded a contract from the Coast Guard for detail design and material acquisition for the fifth OPC hull, with an option for up to 11 hulls.

FMD was previously contracted to provide the main propulsion engines for the first four offshore patrol cutters: Argus (WMSM-915), Chase (WMSM-916), Ingham (WMSM-917), and Rush (WMSM-918).

Last year, the Coast Guard awarded FMD a contract for opposed-piston engine parts for its Bay Class icebreaking tugboats.

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