The U.S. Coast Guard has awarded $20 million worth of contracts for heavy polar icebreaker design studies and analysis, the service announced on Wednesday.
The objective of the studies is to identify design and systems approaches that will 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.
Bollinger Shipyards, Fincantieri Marine Group, General Dynamics/National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, Huntington Ingalls and VT Halter Marine are the five companies that will be working on the design studies.
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.
“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.”
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 Coast Guard plans to award a single contract for design and construction of the lead heavy polar icebreaker in fiscal year 2019.