This release follows the Industry Day event held Dec. 11, 2019, and the release of the draft RFP. The deadline to submit responses to the final RFP is Jan. 31, 2020.
The US Coast Guard plans to acquire 25 OPCs. The cutters will replace the 270-foot and 210-foot medium endurance cutters, which are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and operate. The OPCs will bridge the capabilities of the national security cutters, which patrol the open ocean, and the fast response cutters, which serve closer to shore.
The OPCs will conduct missions including law enforcement, drug and migrant interdiction, search and rescue, and other homeland security and defense operations. Each OPC will be capable of deploying independently or as part of task groups and serving as a mobile command and control platform for surge operations such as hurricane response, mass migration incidents and other events. The cutters will also support Arctic objectives by helping regulate and protect emerging commerce and energy exploration in Alaska.
The Coast Guard is using a multi-phased design build strategy toacquire the OPC. The Coast Guard awarded contracts to three vendors in February 2014 for phase 1, preliminary and contract design. After evaluating an extensive range of contract deliverables submitted by the preliminary and contract design phase contractors, the service selected Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. (ESG) to continue to phase 2, which includes detail design and construction. ESG’s design includes the following features: Length 360 Feet; Width 54 Feet; Speed in excess of 22 knots; Capable of carrying an MH-60R or MH-65 Helicopter; Capable of carrying Three OTH small boats.
The US Coast Guard is moving forward with an adjustment to the OPC contract with ESG to include options for construction of up to four OPCs. The Coast Guard will work with ESG to establish new cost and schedule targets under the contract and continue OPC production at ESG’s facilities. On Oct. 18, 2019, the Coast Guard released a request for information to gauge industry interest in re-competing the remainder of the OPC program of record.
Production of the lead OPC, Argus, began in January 2019. The US Coast Guard has also ordered long lead time material for the second OPC, Chase. The first OPC is scheduled for delivery in 2022.