If you have been wondering if the $655M allocated for the first Polar Security Cutter was enough, let me set your mind at ease. The original FY2019 request was for $750M and only $655M was included in the budget, so it appears we are $95M short. There is an explanation.
Incredibly Mr Ronald O’Rourke has already updated “Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress” (as well as “Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress “) to reflect passage of the FY2019 budget.
A footnote on page 19 of the report on the Polar Security Cutter (PSC) explains.
“47 The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2019 budget was submitted before Congress finalized action on the Coast Guard’s FY2018 budget. In its action on the FY2018 budget, Congress approved the Coast Guard’s request for $19 million in Coast Guard acquisition funding for the program, and provided $150 million in unrequested acquisition funding for the program in the Navy’s shipbuilding account. If the FY2019 request for $750 million is intended solely to complete the funding for the first ship, and if this figure does not assume that more than $19 million would be provided for the program in FY2018, then approving the $750 million request would provide $150 million more than needed to fully fund the first ship. “
There is also $15M for Service Life Extension work on the Polar Star (see Table 3 on page 35.
So, if I understand this correctly, we have $824M for the completion of design work and the construction of the first Polar Security Cutter. Additionally we have $20M for long lead items for the second PSC. If as reported earlier, the first three ships should cost approximately $2.1B, then we have a little over 39% of the funding for the three ship buy.
I would really like to see us do a block buy. Congress has authorized it, and the request for proposal asked for Block Buy quotes, so it should not be impossible.