A computer rendering of the Coast Guard’s new Offshore Patrol Cutter. Rendering courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding Group.

The Long Blue Line: Argus – first “Heritage” Class Offshore Patrol Cutter

Named for the 100-eyed giant of Greek mythology known as “the all-seeing one,” Argus was one of the first vessels completed of Alexander Hamilton’s fleet of 10 revenue cutters. Argus will soon be the first of the “Heritage” Class of Offshore Patrol Cutters that will become the mainstay of the Coast Guard’s ocean-going fleet. These cutters are meant to provide multi-mission capabilities similar to the first 10 revenue cutters.


The Long Blue Line: the Nation’s first fleet, today’s Offshore Patrol Cutters

On Aug. 4, 1790, President George Washington signed legislation establishing a maritime force simply called “the cutters” or “the system of cutters.” Thus was born the United States Revenue Cutter Service, known today as the U.S. Coast Guard. Today, the Coast Guard will embark on a new class of cutters designed to serve a multi-mission role: Offshore Patrol Cutters.


Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa's deployable response boat tow an intercepted 'go-fast" vessel from the Cutter Confidence to the Tampa, Feb. 11, 2012.

Sustaining mission effectiveness as Coast Guard surface fleet transitions

The U.S. Coast Guard Western Hemisphere Strategy is built around three priorities, combating networks, securing borders and safeguarding commerce. To meet these priorities, the strategy emphasizes the critical importance of offshore vessel and aircraft presence to support effective governance and sovereignty, as well as other concepts to ensure long-term success. That long-term vision relies heavily upon the ongoing acqusition of national security cutters and fast response cutters and future acquisition of offshore patrol cutters by the service but also requires us to lean heavily on an aging medium endurance cutter fleet made up of 210-foot and 270-foot cutters, some of which have been operational for as many as 45 years.