C5ISR Production Facility for Offshore Patrol Cutter Program

On Monday, October 18th, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. (ESG), Northrop Grumman, L3Harris and industry partners commissioned the new Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Production Facility (PF) in support of the United States Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program at ESG’s Allanton Shipyard. The ceremony was attended by leaders of the United States Coast Guard Project Resident Office.

The C5ISR PF is a new, dedicated shore-based facility specifically tailored to the requirements of the OPC program to support the build-up, integration, and testing of the C5ISR System prior to installation aboard the ship. The co-location of the C5ISR PF components with ship construction activity significantly reduces program risk and costs, increases efficiency, and creates a more secure and collaborative environment for systems integration. The state-of-the-art facility can hold two full-scale shipboard C5I operations spaces and bridge of the OPC to accurately replicate the onboard facilities and stay in line with the vessel construction schedule. ESG received test readiness approval from the USCG and commenced formal testing in August 2021.

“I want to thank our partners for their dedication and strong collaboration in support of the OPC program. The commissioning of this C5ISR production facility is a significant event for our company and the program. I believe this is the first-ever on-premises C5ISR facility of a major DHS marine construction program and it is specifically designed to reduce risk for the USCG. The co-location of shipbuilder, and C5 providers brings the best of the best under one roof and makes it inherently more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective during production. Facilities of similar size scope and complexity are not co-located at other shipyards and thus cannot provide these benefits,” said Joey D’Isernia, President of Eastern Shipbuilding Group.

ESG’s C5ISR PF is supported by several key industry leaders. Northrop Grumman (NG) is C5ISR Primary System Integrator and Design Agent. L3Harris (L3H) is responsible for the exterior communications system, cybersecurity and design agent of the Aegis BL9G and AN/SPS-77(V)3 Multi-Mode Radar systems. Hose-McCann Communications (HMC) is responsible for the interior communications system. Rohde & Schwartz is responsible for the radio direction finder and identify friend or foe systems. Mid Atlantic Technical Engineering Services (MAETS) is responsible for the C5ISR rack development and construction. Scientific Research Corporation (SRC) is responsible for C5ISR rack development and construction.

“As the C5ISR Primary System Integrator, Northrop Grumman draws from a wealth of maritime systems integration and test experience including work on the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter and the U.S. Navy’s Destroyers, Large Deck Amphibious Warships and Littoral Combat Ships,” said Todd Leavitt, vice president, Northrop Grumman. “We have numerous engineers on-site at ESG’s Production Facility leading both the C5ISR and Cyber related activities. This close collaboration with ESG and our industry partners provides significant efficiencies as well as cost and schedule risk reduction to the U.S. Coast Guard.”

“The OPC program reinforces our investments in C5ISR technology and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to bring integrated mission-critical capabilities to the Coast Guard,” said Don Hairston, General Manager, C5 Systems, L3Harris. “L3Harris integrates its MarCom® voice communications system, K2 tactical terminal and Symphony® communications manager system, which are also featured on the USCG’s National Security Cutter, Fast Response Cutter and Polar Security Cutter platforms. The L3Harris integrated system is also designed to support the Department of Defense’s cybersecurity risk management framework requirements, providing Eastern Shipbuilding and the USCG with a low-risk solution.”

“Hose-McCann Communications is proud to be partnered with Eastern Shipbuilding Group on the OPC program. By choosing our HMC-ICP™ Interior Communications Solution, our teaming partners will bring the first IP-based C5ISR solution to the USCG. This Production Facility is the perfect setting for us all to collaborate in. Congratulations to the ESG team on a job well done!” said Tammy Beck, Director, Program Management, Hose-McCann Communications.

“Since 2014, Rohde & Schwarz USA has been proud to partner with Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. in bringing the United States Coast Guard world class technology solutions. The commissioning of the OPC C5ISR Production Facility is a great milestone achievement for ESG that will benefit its customers and partners. Congratulations ESG!” said Frank Dunn, President and CEO of Rohde & Schwarz USA, Inc.

“Designing, producing, integrating, and testing the first C5ISR systems for OPC 1 is a large and complex undertaking. It requires persistence and a willingness to work across organizational boundaries to provide products that meet the requirements and unique demands of the USCG. For C5ISR systems, the Production Facility provides the environment, and the professional team members from ESG and other supporting organizations provide the cooperation and determination to pull this project together. It is an honor for MAETS to be a part of this great team!” said Richard “Duffy” Moser, CEO, Mid Atlantic Engineering Technical Services, Inc.

Gary Durante, Sector VP from Scientific Research Corporate said, “SRC is proud to be a member of the ESG team on the first delivery of the new OPC class Cutter to the United States Coast Guard.”

Eastern is currently executing intra- and inter- system functional and integration testing for the OPC C5ISR systems. Having the PF located on-site at ESG allows ESG to mitigate risk by providing full oversight of activities, and improved response times. ESG can also utilize the C5ISR suite at the PF to perform inter-platform operability testing with the OPC during trials. ESG can mitigate the risk of cyber vulnerabilities with complete scans and fixes prior to shipboard installation, which reduces cost and schedule impact to support a full authorization to operate (ATO) at delivery.

The PF includes a full-scale mockup of the OPC’s electronics spaces including actual ship equipment, which is connectorized, lit off, and fully functional. The facility is sized to support two OPC electronics suites in full scale mockups at the same time supporting concurrent testing events. The PF will also be used to execute C5ISR factory training and familiarization training for the OPC crewmembers utilizing the full suite of shipboard electronic space equipment in full scale mockups.

ESG completed construction of the PF in November of 2019 at ESG’s Allanton shipyard. The facility construction was funded with Florida state legislative appropriation funds, which demonstrates the states and region’s commitment to the OPC program. The facility employs upwards of 25 full time personnel during testing, providing the area with high-paying and skilled STEM jobs in the highly competitive electronics and cybersecurity industries.

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