Report shows early concerns over cutter

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From The Navy Times Online:

Coast Guard, contractor dispute IG’s findings
By Patricia Kime - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Jan 31, 2007 14:38:12 EST

Some Coast Guard officials began raising concerns about the design of the new national security cutter nearly five years ago, three years before the keel was laid for the first 418-foot vessel, a Homeland Security Inspector General’s report states.

In 2002, technical experts for the service raised doubts about the ship’s hull, contending that significant flaws exist in its structural design, according to investigators.

In 2004, assistant commandant Rear Adm. Errol Brown sent a memo detailing more than five design deficiencies to the program executive officer overseeing the build, Rear Adm. Patrick Stillman. Brown urged Stillman to resolve any disputes over engineering before proceeding with construction of the first cutter in the class.

In a 133-page report prepared by the office of Homeland Security Inspector General Robert Skinner, the OIG details a program it says has increased in cost by more than one-third since the $24 billion, $25-year Deepwater contract was first awarded and doesn’t meet Coast Guard specifications.
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Comment: In light of the fact that U.S. Coast Gaurd cutters operate in some of the worst and most dangerous seas in the world, this doesn't exactly inspire confidence. I'm hoping by now that the problems have been rectified but I'd be interested in hearing from anybody who may have some insights on this.
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