USCG Awards Polar Icebreaker Contracts

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, a heavy icebreaker homeported in Seattle, Washington, rests in the ice as the motor vessel Ocean Giant departs from the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station, Feb. 1, 2017. One of the primary responsibilities of the Polar Star’s crew is to provide an escort for the Ocean Giant through the frozen Ross Sea off of Antarctica. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley)

Posted by Greg Trauthwein

The U.S. Coast Guard awarded five firm fixed-price contracts for
heavy polar icebreaker design studies and analysis Wednesday. The
contracts were awarded to the following recipients: Bollinger
Shipyards, LLC, Lockport, Louisiana; Fincantieri Marine Group,
LLC, Washington, District of Columbia; General Dynamics/National
Steel and Shipbuilding Company, San Diego, California; Huntington
Ingalls, Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi; and VT Halter Marine,
Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi. The combined total value of the
awards is approximately $20 million.

The objective of the studies are to identify design and systems
approaches to reduce acquisition cost and production timelines.
In addition to a requirement to develop heavy polar icebreaker
designs with expected cost and schedule figures, the contracts
require: the awardees to examine major design cost drivers;
approaches to address potential acquisition, technology, and
production risks; and benefits associated with different types of
production contract types.

The heavy polar icebreaker integrated program office, staffed by
Coast Guard and U.S. Navy personnel, will use the results of the
studies to refine and validate the draft heavy polar icebreaker
system specifications. The use of design studies is an
acquisition best practice influenced by the Navy's acquisition
experience with the Landing Craft, Utility (LCU) amphibious
transport ship and T-AO(X) fleet oiler, which are being acquired
under accelerated acquisition schedules.

"These contracts will provide invaluable data and insight as we
seek to meet schedule and affordability objectives," said Rear
Adm. Michael Haycock, the Coast Guard's Director of Acquisition
Programs and Program Executive Officer. "Our nation has an urgent
need for heavy polar icebreaking capability. We formed an
integrated program office with the Navy to take advantage of
their shipbuilding experience. This puts us in the best possible
position to succeed in this important endeavor," said Haycock.

"The Navy is committed to the success of the heavy icebreaker
program and is working collaboratively with our Coast Guard
counterparts to develop a robust acquisition strategy that drives
affordability and competition, while strengthening the industrial
base," said Jay Stefany, Executive Director, Amphibious,
Auxiliary and Sealift Office, Program Executive Office, Ships.
"Our ability to engage early with our industry partners will be
critical to delivering this capability to our nation," said

The studies are expected to take 12 months to complete, with
study results provided incrementally during that time. The Coast
Guard plans to release a draft request for proposals (RFP) for
detail design and construction by the end of fiscal year 2017,
followed by release of the final RFP in fiscal year 2018. The
Integrated Program Office plans to award a single contract for
design and construction of the lead heavy polar icebreaker in
fiscal year 2019, subject to appropriations.

Feb 22, 2017

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