More Webber Class to be Contracted Soon + Background

The following is based on information from someone I believe to be a reliable source. To my knowledge there has been no official announcement.

The Coast Guard is expected to exercise an option for four more Webber class soon, probably this week. This contract will be FY2011 money and will bring the total under contract to twelve.

Out of a projected requirement for 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs), the current contract with Bollinger included options that allowed for construction of up to 34 vessels–a prototype, three low rate initial production examples, and five options of up to six each. The Coast  Guard will be exercising its second “full production rate” option. Because funding was only provided for four vessels for this and the previous option, the maximum that can be built under the existing contract will be 30 vessels.

The number of vessels to be funded in FY2012 is still to be determined. Six ships still seems most likely, but going with four rather than six would further reduce the maximum under the current contract to 28. Presumably that would put the project another four months behind.

The FY2012 budget is also expected to include funds for CG to purchase the complete design data package and design rights as provided for in the existing contract. This would allow the Webber Class design to be bid competitively as discussed earlier. Right now alternative designs appear unlikely assuming sea trials in Oct/Nov go as expected.

The costs for the actual ship building have been very stable since contract award (within one percent). Money appropriated for the project includes supporting infrastructure costs as well as the actually ship building. There does seem to have been an increase in these additional infrastructure costs.


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