Preliminary and Contract Design Contract Winners for OPC Announced

The Acquisitions Directorate has announced the three winners of contracts to develop preliminary and design contracts for the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) intended to replace all existing medium endurance cutters.

“The U.S.  Coast Guard today awarded three firm fixed-price contracts for preliminary and  contract design (P&CD) for the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) acquisition  project.  The contracts were awarded to Bollinger  Shipyards Lockport LLC (Lockport, La.), Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. (Panama  City, Fla.), and General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works (Bath, Maine).  The total value of the award is approximately  $65 million.”

We talked about what we knew about the concepts earlier. I still have not seen any information on Bath Iron Works’ proposal, but they do have an excellent reputation for building destroyer types, and it is gratifying to see them among the selectees.

Presumably Bollinger will be modifying a Damen design, possibly related to the Vietnamese OPV we discussed here.

As noted earlier, it appears Eastern’s concept may be a modification of an STX design, the New Zealand Protector Class, that we recently saw in operation off Antarctica.

34 thoughts on “Preliminary and Contract Design Contract Winners for OPC Announced

  1. After looking at what little there is with all the designs, I find myself liking the Damen design. There is just something sleek and good looking with their design. What little I can find of the others, just look like the same old same old when it comes to cutter design.

    Ultimately it is just to early to tell which design will be best, there is just to much that is not know at this time.

    I am still a little sad that the Vigor design did not make the cut.

  2. One thing might be worth noting. While there was no requirement to include provision for loading containers or “mission modules” it appears two of the designs that the contenders are based on do have this feature. Both the Damen designs and the New Zealand OPV have this feature.

  3. My bet will be that it will either be based on Royal Netherlands Navy’s Holland class OPV design or the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Protector-class offshore patrol vessel. Though I think the US Coast Guard may have their preference for the Holland class OPV because we have used the Holland class OPV with the Royal Netherlands Navy. Though I think their should be at least 2 NoCGV Svalbard for Alaska.

  4. From the perspective of wishing to maintain a diverse industry, I’m a bit saddened that neither of the West Coast yards made the finals. On the bright side, at least its not 3 Gulf Coast yards.

    If Bath has an international partner, and given that frustratingly scarce information on their bid has not ruled that in or out, I would speculate its Rolls Royce Marine. They worked together on the JHSV bid and it seems like a good fit all around.

    • Pretty good looking ship. Generally does look like the drawing we had but perhaps a bit more handsome. Still think the gun looks to low relative to the Gunwale. Stack position seems to indicate the hangar will be offcenter to port which means the helicopter can not be pulled straight into the hangar. Presumably the Mk38mod2 25mm will be on top of the aft superstructure so it will either be directly behind the stack or on the centerline. Either way, the firing arcs are going to be compromised relative to a ship where both the gun and the stack are on the centerline.

  5. No press release from Bath yet, but here is Bollinger’s:

    This is what I saw as important in the announcement: “During Phase I of the OPC program, Bollinger will support the development of the Preliminary and Contract Design, which will include Naval Architecture, Design, Engineering, Production Planning, and Facility Improvement Planning. Bollinger is partnered with Gibbs & Cox Maritime Solutions, L3 Communications, and Damen Shipyards Group.”

  6. It matters not, but my opinion is the Acquisitions Directorate missed the boat with one aspect of the OPC. Specifying an ice-belt for all 25 cutters, including those which work in the Caribbean and Gulf and Florida, just so 2-3 of them can work in Alaska is very inefficient. If they’d build these 25 to be general-purpose OPVs with no ice-belt and then buy 4-5 ice-rated Vigor/Ulstein X-bow designs for an Arctic Patrol Cutter for Alaska and possibly Maine, they’d be much smarter.

    • Bill,
      That’s why I think the Holland class OPV can be used for the Lower 48. While the Vigor/Ulstein X-bow designs or the Protector class OPV can be used for Alaska.

  7. I’m reproducing part of Tim Colton’s comments on the selection of contractors here. Mr. Colton is a well respected commentator on the American Shipbuilding industry. He writes the column “Maritime Memos” ( but because of the way it is structured I cannot specifically link to his comments on this topic:

    “The choice of contractors is interesting. Bath – one of the “Big Five” and one of the best builders of surface combatants in the world. Bollinger – one of the “Second Tier” and the yard that knows better than anyone what the Coast Guard wants. And Eastern – an outsider in many ways but a yard which has increased its productivity, its output and its average ship size in recent years, which has moved into more complex and more valuable market sectors, and which has had the nous to team for this program with STX Marine USA, possibly the best naval architects in North America. Who will win? Well, it should be Bollinger: logic says that Bath is too expensive and Eastern too inexperienced, but there are a lot of conflicting factors at work here and early chicken-counting would be most unwise. February 11, 2014.”

  8. Pingback: Bath Iron Works Offshore Patrol Cutter Concept | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

    • Here is Tim Colton’s take on the protests from his Maritime Memos, “Ingalls and VTHM Protest
      The two shipbuilders that were not selected for the U.S. Coast Guard’s OPC Phase I contracts, Ingalls Shipbuilding and VT Halter Marine, have filed protests with the GAO. Read the Defense News story here. If you are interested, the docket number for both is B.409541.1. Do they have a chance? Probably not. Protests are rarely successful, especially these days, when Contracting Officers have much less independent authority than they used to have: sometimes it seems that they can’t go to the bathroom without permission from the lawyers. In this case, however, the PCO is Carl McGill, who has been there for ever and knows what he’s doing: small chance of any mistakes. The other thing is that the cost of a protest is rarely justified by the size of the contract. In this case, however, the contract is clearly big enough to justify the cost, so why not? But that does not mean that this protest is necessarily valid. My bet is that both protests will be rejected.” February 27, 2014.

  9. Pingback: Thanks for a successful 2014 | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

  10. I heard that everyone down in Louisiana knows that the Chouest family is now in ultimate control of the direction of Bollinger not Bordelon and that this acquisition was no surprise for anyone in industry. I wonder what impacts this will have for Bollinger’s government work since Chouest is primarily involved in the commercial business.

    Also, the lack of announcements on Bollinger’s design is troublesome. I hope they are busy working on their design and not going to recreate the hull stretching performance issues of the past if they win OPC. I thought they were using a modified Holland class or Sigma 10514 frigate instead of the OPV 2600 because of the accommodations and operating range deficiencies. Can the OPV 2600 really satisfy the threshold requirements of OPC?

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