U.S. Coast Guard Releases RFI for Polar Landing Craft2020-08-082020-08-08https://staging.taktikz.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/taktikz-Original.jpgtaktik(z) GDIhttps://staging.taktikz.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/taktikz-Original.jpg200px200px
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) released a request for information (RFI) on July 30 seeking industry review and input in advance of a planned procurement of Polar Landing Craft (PLC) that will support Polar Security Cutter (PSC) operations.
The RFI includes a draft PLC statement of work and draft specification describing the technical requirements for a PLC design. Through the RFI, the Coast Guard is seeking information on potential parent craft designs available in the marketplace and how ice requirements would be incorporated into those designs; potential pricing; recommended build and delivery schedules; potential opportunities for cost reduction; and other topics.
Responses to the RFI are due Sept. 15, 2020.
The PLC will be stowed uncovered on the weather decks of the PSC and thus will be exposed to the full range of environmental conditions that the PSC will encounter during year-round, worldwide operations. The PLC will be launched and recovered utilizing one of the cutter’s installed cargo cranes.
Each of the three PLCs will be required to be delivered to the Coast Guard 10 months prior to delivery of each PSC hull, the first PSC is scheduled to be delivered in mid-2024 and each year thereafter.
The two existing utility boats used by the USCG’s existing icebreakers, the USCGC Polar Star (WAGB-10) and USCGC Healy (WAGB-20), are the Arctic Survey Boat (ASB) and the Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP). The performance capabilities of these two boats, have been combined in the Specification and Statement of Work (SOW) to create the desired capabilities of the PLC for deployment and use from the PSC.
USCG Polar Security Cutter (PSC) Program
The Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program, formerly the Heavy Polar Ice Breaker (HPIB) program, is a multiple year U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Level 1 investment and a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) major system acquisition to acquire up to three multi-mission vessels to recapitalize the USCG fleet of heavy icebreakers which have exhausted their design service life.
In April 2019, VT Halter Marine, Inc. of Pascagoula, Mississippi, was awarded a contract for the detail design and construction of the Coast Guard’s new Polar Security Cutter class.
The initial award is valued at $745.9 million and supports non-recurring engineering and detail design of the PSC class as well as procurement of long lead-time materials and construction of the first ship. The contract also includes options for the construction of the two additional PSCs envisaged in the program. If all options are exercised, the total contract value is $1.9 billion.
Construction on the first PSC is planned to begin in 2021 with delivery planned for 2024; however, the contract includes financial incentives for earlier delivery.
The acquisition of Polar Security Cutters is being jointly managed across the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard through an Integrated Program Office (IPO) that leverages the expertise and utilizes best practices across each enterprise to deliver a fleet of highly capable, multi-mission ships in the most cost-efficient and timely manner possible. The Department of the Navy (DON)’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is the lead contracting authority for the project.
The new Polar security cutters (PSCs) will enable the U.S. to maintain defense readiness in the Arctic and Antarctic regions; enforce treaties and other laws needed to safeguard both industry and the environment; provide ports, waterways and coastal security; and provide logistical support – including vessel escort – to facilitate the movement of goods and personnel necessary to support scientific research, commerce, national security activities and maritime safety.
The USCG’s operational polar fleet currently includes one 399-foot heavy icebreaker (USCGC Polar Star (WAGB-10), commissioned in 1976) and one 420-foot medium icebreaker (USCGC Healy (WAGB-20), commissioned in 2000). These cutters are designed for open-water icebreaking and feature reinforced hulls and specially angled bows.
According to the Coast Guard, it needs six new PSCs to ensure national year-round access to the polar regions and to provide self-rescue capability.