USCGC Sea Devil (WPB-87368)
USCGC Sea Devil
|Name:||USCGC Sea Devil|
|Builder:||Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, Louisiana|
|Status:||in active service|
|Class and type:||Marine Protector-class coastal patrol boat|
|Displacement:||91 long tons (92 t)|
|Length:||87 ft 0 in (26.5 m)|
|Beam:||19 ft 5 in (5.9 m)|
|Draft:||5 ft 7 in (1.7 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 x MTU diesels|
|Speed:||25 knots (46 km/h)|
|Range:||900 nmi (1,700 km)|
|Armament:||3 × .50 caliber M2 Browning machine guns|
USCGC Sea Devil is the 68th Marine Protector-class coastal patrol boat to be built, and the first of four to be paid for by the US Navy. It is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. Her home port is Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Silverdale, Washington, where she and her sister ship Sea Fox are assigned to one of two Maritime Force Protection Units. Their sole mission is to escort the Navy's largest submarines, the nuclear-armed Ohio class, while in and near their moorings in Puget Sound. USCGC Sea Dragon and USCGC Sea Dog guard the submarine base in Kings Bay, Georgia, on the Atlantic Ocean.
These submarines require an escort because, while they carry some of the most powerful weapons ever built, they do not mount weapons suitable to protect them from surface threats, like the speedboat that carried a bomb that damaged USS Cole.
Sea Devil is slightly modified from the standard design of a Marine Protector cutter, the smallest cutter the Coast Guard currently has in service. Like her sister ships, she is 87 feet (27 m) long, displaces approximately 90 tonnes, and has a maximum speed of 25 knots (46 km/h). They are all equipped with a (water)jet-propelled pursuit boat, that is deployed and retrieved via a stern launching ramp, enabling it to be used without bringing the cutter to a halt.
Sea Devil, and the three other vessels, have been modified from the design of the Coast Guard's other Marine Protector cutters. These four vessels mount an additional gyro-stabilized remotely controlled machine gun. The main armament of the standard Marine Protector cutter are a pair of .50-caliber (12.7mm) Browning machine guns, mounted on the rail to either side of the vessel's foredeck. The long range accuracy of these weapons is low, when fired by a gunner on a pitching deck, aiming using "iron sights". Sea Devil, and the three other cutters, have a pedestal, in the middle of the foredeck, that gives their main armament a better field of fire. The gun mounted on the pedestal is the same Browning as the other guns, but gyro stabilization compensates for the pitching deck. The mount is equipped with multiple cameras, enabling the gun aimer on the bridge to focus the gun's sights on a distant target, even at night, or when visibility is impaired by smoke, or fog.
- Chuck Hill (2012-10-29). "CG Maritime Force Protection Units". Retrieved 2017-03-29.
The units are perhaps unique in that they have only a single mission, and they are funded by the Navy. They protect Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines while they transit on the surface, to and from their homeports. The possibility of a USS Cole style attack motivated their creation.
- Ed Friedrich (2008-06-20), Enlisting a Coast Guard Cutter to Protect Navy Subs, Kitsap Sun, archived from the original on 2016-10-02, retrieved 2017-03-29,
The Navy believed the need was so great that they went out and purchased our cutter for that, said Lt. j.g. Alanna Kaltsas, the boats first skipper, after Fridays commissioning ceremony on a rolling lawn above the bay with the Olympic Mountains as a backdrop.
- HMC James T. Flynn, Jr., USNR(ret) (2014-06-23). "U. S. Coast Guard: Small Cutters and Patrol Boats 1915 - 2012" (PDF). US Coast Guard. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-03-01.
The four boats which are stationed at Kitsap, WA and Kings Bay, GA submarine bases have an extra remotely operated 50 cal. m.g.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Mike Barber (2008-06-19). "New patrol boat to protect subs in Sound: Coast Guard cutter is first vessel assigned to provide security for Navy". Seattle Post Intelligencer. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
- Media related to USCGC Sea Devil (WPB-87368) at Wikimedia Commons