Northrop Grumman Transfers First Cutter To Coast Guard - - The News for South Mississippi

Northrop Grumman Transfers First Cutter To Coast Guard

PASCAGOULA (WLOX) -- The military's newest security vessel was transferred from Northrop Grumman to the U.S. Coast Guard Thursday. Hundreds of people climbed aboard the 418 foot Bertholf Cutter for an "in commission" ceremony at Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula.

The $650 million vessel is the first of two national security cutters built at Northrop Grumman. The shipbuilder says it's the most modern ship the Coast Guard has received in nearly 40 years.

During the event, both the Coast Guard and Northrop Grumman praised Ingalls workers for constructing the flagship vessel despite setbacks from Hurricane Katrina.

"Katrina had an impact. The ship was 25 percent complete when Katrina hit. And while the ship didn't take very much damage, obviously the shipyard did and we had to recover. What we are very proud of is the fact that the Betrholf was the first ship to start construction, and resume construction after Katrina. We have had a number of successful sea trials and that all culminated in today's delivery," said Richard Schank with Northrop Grumman.

The Bertholf will replace one of the old Coast Guard ships built in the 1960s. Northrop Grumman officials say the cutter will not be totally "in commission" until a number of evaluations have been completed.

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