Builders Hungry, Competition for OPC Contract Fierce

NationalDefenseMagazine.org is reporting the competition for the OPC contract is heated, with eight yards having submitted bids.

“Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La.; Eastern Shipbuilding, Panama City, Fla.; General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine; General Dynamics Nassco, San Diego; Huntington Ingalls Industries, Pascagoula, Miss.; Marinette Marine, Marinette, Wis.; Vigor Shipyards, Seattle and VT Halter Marine, Pascagoula, Miss.”

They asked all eight for comment, but only obtained substantive comment from Vigor, Bollinger, Huntington Ingalls, and Marinette Marine.

We should not be surprised that many yards entered the competition. For some of these yards, this is the largest contract they can ever hope to be awarded. Even for the largest yards, it is potentially steady work for many years, perhaps though 2032, if the full 25 are completed at the planned rate of less than two a year.

The RFP closed January 23. The Commandant has said we will hear soon which three yards will be given contracts to further develop their proposals and provide contract designs for the second phase of the competition.

18 thoughts on “Builders Hungry, Competition for OPC Contract Fierce

  1. Bollinger should not be permitted to bid. As they should not have been permitted to bid on the FRCs until the 123 mess is cleared up. They knowingly put the USCG crews and nation at risk by building boats with weak hulls to save money on steal.
    Same leadership, no accountability and no one in jail

    • http://www.tri-parishtimes.com/business/article_c7876130-8b5a-11e2-8194-001a4bcf887a.html#user-comment-area

      “We are honored to accept this award,” Bollinger said. “The four members of our board of directors meet regularly with groups of our employees. Quality, cost, environmental control and ethics are important to us. For the last 28 years, we have built every U.S. Coast Guard cutter. Our current cutter contract is about halfway through, and, when it is over, $1.4 billion in business will have coming through parish. We are proud to bring business to this area, and we love BIG.”

      Quality and ethics? Bollinger has been sued by the DoJ for delivering the 123 Cutters with weak hulls. The hulls buckled due to the use of THINNER steal than required. The first ship the Matagorda bucked trying to escape a hurricane. The DoJ has emails from Bollinger where they specifically discuss using thin steal, falsifying the strength design calculations and how it will cause problems if they are caught. All this post 9/11. That was in 2003 and to this day Bollinger hasn’t paid a dime in restitution. As a matter of fact Bollinger tried to blame the US Coast Guard for the issues and even tried to get them to just build new 123s after if screwed up the first 8 123s after trying to length their hulls. Is it quality and ethics that rule here? Trying to save money by trying to build 49 modified 123 cutters with thinner steel than you know is safe is quality and ethics?

    • I am curious as to why you say that? Due to the 123s? Something else?
      (Given they have the FRCs one might think someone else is due. But even with that the USCG was supposed to open bid the rest of the FRCs)

      • The 123’s. Bollinger shouldn’t get a dime of taxpayer money until they repay the government for their intentionally fraudulent conduct connected with that disaster.

  2. Pulling for Vigor, even if they won’t be assembling at the Seattle yard. Wouldn’t be all that broken up if NASSCO got it.

    • Also hoping for Vigor, I’ve heard it called an ugly duck but then again the 210′ and 270′ ain’t pretty. This is a proven hull design for high seas and with the cg mission trending to the Artic it seems like a logical choice.

      • Let’s be realistic about “the Arctic” as the CG keeps harping on: there is no tasking from the President nor mandate from Congress for us to be up there. In fact, despite us not being funded for the mission by ships, personnel or operational funds, we have taken it on (out of hide from other mission finding streams) as a juvenile way of trying to pretend to be relevent and thinking it will lead to more funding. The problem with this childish attitude toward budget game theatrics is that while we have tried many times before, and always failed miserably at, is that nobody in their right mind is going to give us money to do a self-generated mission requirement that we are doing on our own accord! Not to mention, since by our own admission we can perform the mission by taking it out of other areas, why in their right mind would any Congressional Critter care a whit about our lobbying for “more money to perform this important function”. In their mind we are obviously overfunded, considering we have the resources to make up our own missions with no funding stream.

      • In response to Matt Gimple, If the trans arctic routes open up as expected, it will make a huge difference in shipping costs. The interests of China, Japan, and S. Korea as major exporters is completely understandable.

  3. My prediction for the 3 finalists:

    Bollinger
    VT Halter
    Marinette

    All 3 will have access to proven OPV designs (Fincantieri, DCNS, STX – my wild guess for Bollinger’s design partner). None of the others have the right kind of cost structure, or the right mix of civilian/military experience. Maybe Vigor has an outside chance, if the CG decides to throw in an out-of-the-box design into the mix.

  4. I’m pulling for Vigor (naturally, since I pitched the idea of an X-bow for the CG here at Chuck’s blog a year or two ago), but in reality, I agree with H_K’s guesstimate. If Vigor makes the list, it will be because of curiosity about the viability of the X-bow design. If the CG actually adopts the X-bow design, it will be a long-shot, but, if performance and not politics is the standard (doubtful), we may see it happen.

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