The US Coast Guard took delivery of Bernard C. Webber, its first fast-response cutter, at Miami on 10 February. Built by Bollinger Shipyards at Lockport, Louisiana, the vessel is the first of 58 planned Sentinel class patrol boats that will supersede the Coast Guard’s Island class patrol boat fleet.

The 47m Sentinel class, which is based on the smaller Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4207 used by a number of enforcement agencies around the world, is designed to operate independently for a minimum of five days at sea and be under way for 2,500 hours per year. They have a maximum speed in excess of 28 knots.

With a steel hull and aluminium superstructure, they are armed with one stabilised, remotely-operated 25mm chain gun and four crew-served .50 calibre machine guns. The first 18 fast-response cutters will be home-ported throughout the south-eastern USA and Caribbean to support migrant and contraband interdiction missions for the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.

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