Coast Guard Reassigns Deepwater Replacement Patrol Boat Acquisition Project
The U.S. Coast Guard announced it has terminated the Deepwater Fast Response Cutter-B acquisition currently with Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS) and reassigned the project to the Coast Guard’s Acquisition Directorate.
The project is for 12 patrol boats scheduled for delivery beginning spring 2010. ICGS, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, has been notified of the decision.
“This decision is based on the Coast Guard’s ongoing commitment to improve management of the Integrated Deepwater System contract, to achieve best value for taxpayers and the government, and give Coast Guard men and women the capable assets they need to save lives, secure our maritime borders, and protect the environment,” said Adm. Thad Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard.
Allen emphasized this decision pertains only to the acquisition of patrol boats and does not impact ongoing negotiations with ICGS for other work to be done in the second performance period of the Deepwater contract, beginning June 2007.
The service is taking the action to ensure full and open competition, to control costs and deliver urgently needed patrol boats to meet basic mission requirements in the shortest time possible.
The Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate expects to release the Request for Proposal for the 12 FRC-B patrol boats in May 2007. The RFP will be for a fixed-price contract based on an existing, in-service, proven patrol boat design requiring only minimal modifications to meet basic requirements. The so-called “parent craft” acquisition strategy was chosen for the FRC-B when design work on the FRC-A was suspended in early 2006 due to technical risk.
This action by the Coast Guard is in alignment with its recently released “Blue Print for Acquisition Reform,” which emphasizes risk management and cost control and states the service must be able to effectively employ either a government or commercial entity as systems integrator.
The $24 billion, 25-year post-9/11 Deepwater Implementation Plan provides for progressive modernization and recapitalization of the aging Coast Guard fleet. The Fast Response Cutter is the smallest of the three major classes of cutters included in the Deepwater plan and will be able to deploy independently to conduct missions such as ports, waterways and coastal security, fishery patrols, drug and illegal migrant law enforcement, search and rescue, and national-defense operations. Advancing the design and construction of this new patrol boat is one of the Coast Guard’s top near-term priorities.