Coast Guard Releases Draft Request for Proposal for the OPC

Today the Coast Guard released a draft “request for proposal” (RFP) for the construction of the Offshore Patrol Cutters.

They also indicate they expect to meet with industry the week of July 9, request feedback by July 16, and that they will issue the RFP in September.

There is an awful lot of material here to absorb, but one thing I did notice immediately was the apparent intention to make all the OPC ice strengthened. “The discussion of operating environments was expanded to include Arctic climates. An ability to operate in areas of broken plate, pancake, and sea ice ranging from 10 to 30 inches thick was added. However, the summary states that the WMSM will not conduct ice breaking as a mission (page iii).”

There will be more I’m sure.

40 thoughts on “Coast Guard Releases Draft Request for Proposal for the OPC

  1. “An ability to operate in areas of broken plate, pancake, and sea ice ranging from 10 to 30 inches thick was added.”

    I do not recall how thick the ice was but we had to go through an off shore field just to get to St. Johns, FLND and that was on a 210. It would have been nice to have had a better hull. I stayed out of the magazines until we got through.

  2. You’ve got to love this entry from the CONOPS:

    2.3.1 Geographic Area(s)
    The WMSM will operate primarily in the Coast Guard’s deep water AOR from Aztec Shore to
    Arctic Zone to Europe, and Far East or wherever the national interest requires the Coast Guard’s
    humanitarian, law enforcement, or military presence around the globe.

    • S basically, they want an OPC with ocean going capability. The ability to keep up with an Amphibious Ready Group, Carrier Battle group. On top of that the ability to cross the Atlantic and Pacific. It’s sounds like the US Coast Guard that wants an OPC with legs of a light frigate

      • Expeditionary strike groups refers to groups based around amphibious assault ships like LPDs, LSDs, LHAs, and LHDs. They have speeds of 20 to 24 knots.

        Carrier Strike Groups were explicitly excluded. Really the NSCs are not fast enough to stay with Carrier Strike Groups either if they really decide to move, so they should really be considered in the same situation.

  3. I have several OPC Designs that’s worthy being considered for the US Coast Guard,
    Buque de Acción Marítima
    Holland class offshore patrol vessels
    Sukanya class patrol vessel
    Kedah class offshore patrol vessel
    Braunschweig class corvette
    Floréal class frigate

    • As we have discussed before. The ship yards may choose to modify an existing design, but there are no designs out there that exactly fit the CG requirements. Most of those designs are worth looking at to see what others are doing. Of all of them I think the Holland and the Floreal (too slow) are the closest to what the CG has described.

      The others are probably too small to meet the Seakeeping (boat and aircraft launch) requirements and don’t meet other requirements. I don’t believe Sukanya class, Kedah class, or Braunschweig class corvette can hangar an H-60.

      • I think the Holland class offshore patrol vessels is something the US Coast Guard will probably be looking over for design Ideas. Even the Spanish Navy’s Buque de Acción Marítima and the German Navy’s Braunschweig class corvette and the Royal Malaysian Navy’s Kedah class offshore patrol vessel is something the US Coast Guard can look at and draw design ideas from.

      • Isn’t it amazing how some people with absolutely no seagoing experience whatsoever seem to know exactly what capabilities the Coast Guard needs for an OPC? 😉

      • I think Navantia has some good deign features that can be applied to the Future OPC. Their latest product the BVL and BAM has a high degree of automation that can be applied to the US Coast Guard as well. I also believe automation may cut down on the number or required crews needed for the future OPC. Here’s a Youtube vid from Navantia’s site on the BVL

      • What do you have against me. Are you Racist or do have something against Asian Americans.

      • @thomas Jackson,
        Plenty being that your attacking me being Asian American and being a minority. I see racism is still an issue in Society and in here as well.

      • Nick, he made no reference to you being Asian American or a minority, he also never made any comment that could be interpreted as racist in any way. Just because we don’t agree with you is not a basis to play the “race card”. You know nothing about the Coast Guard or the capabilities needed in a new Coast Guard Cutter. You keep posting the same “wish list” over and over of “warships” you wish could be Coast Guard Cutters because you seem to think that the Coast Guard should be the Navy! You obviously have very little knowledge of ships based on one of your comments regarding carrier battle groups and amphibious assault groups which have very different top speeds. Even our NSC’s and 378’s can barely keep up with a CVBG that is cruising below the top speed of the ships in the group. Stop playing the race card in an attempt to fish for sympathy! You need help.

      • Jackson provides some much needed balance here; if I wantedto read a circle-jerk I would go elsewhere. Chuck Hill, your comments come across as whiny and pathetic sour grapes given your own frequent attack pieces on the decisions of Coast Guard’s leadership whose command and operations experience you do not even come close to matching.

      • This is in answer to “CG Retort” (probably another Thomas Jackson persona) and his reference to my “frequent attack pieces on the decisions of Coast Guard’s leadership”

        What attack pieces? Actually it is Mr. Jackson is the one who has been most virulent in his attacks on Coast Guard leadership.

        If you want to take issue with specific positions I have taken, please do so, but nonspecific general attacks are not welcome, not constructive, and may be deleted.

      • CG’s last decade of experience in shipbuilding doesn’t suggest that seagoing experience is that much of an asset.

        Nicky occasionally throws some off-the-wall stuff out, but some of his ideas are quite reasonable, and they are often more original than anything else being ventured here. He also apparently has the advantage of not being compelled to toe the company line.

        It’d be nice to see responses to Nicky’s commentary that are more enlightened than ad hominem and unrationalized rejection. (i.e. “Please just stop trying.”)

      • Your post would have been more accurate if you had said “Nicky occasionally throws some relevant stuff out.”

        Maybe the reason people have stopped trying to respond to his commentary is because it is a useless endeavor. His posts are usually “the Coast Guard should try ……” without any substantive discussion of why it would work, and when people do try to point out the flaws in his arguments, the discussion goes nowhere.

        I’d rather have sailors design my ships than people who’ve never been to sea.

      • “I’d rather have sailors design my ships than people who’ve never been to sea.”

        The Coast Guard also used to have sailors who knew these things. I am no so sure they exist as a group anymore. The 327s were of a navy hull and engineering plant but the rest was put together, including the ability to change there configurations, by the Coast Guard’s in house naval civilian constructors and architects. They got away from this after WWII.

        I’d have to relocate the article but one of the problems is that the Coast Guard’s senior officer corps has no sea time other than that as a JO. Of course, there a few but even there the number of O-6 afloat command billets was about 17 out of the 350+ captains on active service. (BTW there are more O-6 in the Coast Guard than E-9s).

        Of course, things will get worse as the numbers of hulls fall away and as CGA grads bypass sea duty altogether.

      • The CG was doing in house design work at least through the 270. I understand they may have done a preliminary design for the OPC. If so they ought to offer it to the interested ship builders to use either as a possible entry or as a benchmark for improvement.

      • Alright.

        Nicky, while many of those ships come close to the capabilities required, as evidenced by the draft RFP released as well as many of the other documents, the CG is not interested in purchasing or modifying any existing vessel. They are soliciting new designs from U.S. shipyards. Those are the facts.

        While, yes, modifying one of those vessels you mention may be more fiscally feasible, its just not going to happen.

  4. “The WMSM will operate primarily in the Coast Guard’s deep water AOR from Aztec Shore to Arctic Zone to Europe, and Far East . . . .”

    From the terraces of Tenochtitlan
    To the shores of Sicily, Singapore and Sitka,
    We will be virtually defenseless to fight our country’s battles
    In the air and sea;
    We are proud to claim the title of Coastie.

  5. ummm I seriously doubt that:

    Island class, Marine Protector, Sentinnel, and WMSL all stem from a parent design…all Damen.

    The WMSL is the farthest from the parent design but has a stretched SIGMA hull but he rest are all very close to the parent. even the WPC-179 was a Damen design.

    The Holland class that Nickly brought up is rather close to the needs of the OPC. Drop the expensive phased array and put a better davit on and its ready to rock. Its a proven design. In fact the dutch have one working right alongside the MEC’s today and its doing the mission great.

  6. Chuck, concur.

    Its manned near 50 but has berthing for twice that and can be configured in the well for another 40+. This was similar to what I saw on LCS 1 which has a well that can be separated in half. At that point the forward section can be configured with berthing modules. When I saw the on LCS 1 they had added another ~30 that way.

    I suspect a dual point Wellin Lambie davit (CG standard for CB-OTH) could be added instead. Also, the CG would likely want to break the super structure in half for fatigue life benefits (see mods made to 270/378/WMSL 752+) so dropping the deck down a level wouldn’t be beyond the feasible.

    Its a long link below but it shows one of many examples floating around of the Thales mock up of the Holland class OPC/WMSM. They are trying to showcase it for their radars but…

    BTW, nothing worse than radar cutouts. As the systems on the mast increase, the phased array may become the only option.

    WHEC came with an empty mast and star deck, now there is no more real estate.

    WMSL came with a pretty full deck/mast and is already completely full four years in, its a HERF nightmare.

    It will be >50 years between when the WMSM design is finalized and the last WMSM is decommissioned. The 210’s were designed to do much less than they are called on for now. What will we expect the WMSM to do in 2070? Maybe the ship might be a little overkill today but its going to need to be upgradable and remain relevant for a long time.,r:10,s:140,i:196&tx=107&ty=114

  7. I recommend reading Norman Friedman’s article in the current issue of Naval History (August 2012). Although, he writes to the navies of the U. S. and the British he makes good points that size and future adaptability matters in ship design.

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