Thanks to MarineLink for bringing this to my attention.
The Coast Guard apparently wants a rapid response, “Responses to this RFI must be received no later than 11:00 a.m. eastern time (ET) November 6, 2019,” but otherwise we are not in such a big hurry, as I will explain below.
I will replicate the RFI at the end, but the notional schedule tells us a lot about the currently envisioned acquisition strategy.
You can find the Notional Schedule here. Attachment_1-Notional_Schedule.pdf Basically it looks like a restart from ground zero.
- There is to be an Industry Studies RFP Released in mid FY2020
- Draft Spec are to be released third quarter of FY2020 (don’t we already have not just draft specs but detailed specs?)
- Draft DD&C RFP at the beginning of FY 2021
- Detailed Design &Construction RFP Released Second Quarter FY2021
- Award for Detail Design & Lead Ship Construction does not happen until late FY2022.
- Again we expect to only build one ship per year for the first three ships before transitioning to two ship a year.
- The final to OPC would not be delivered until the fourth quarter of FY2037
It appears there are 33 months between the issuance of this RFI and award for Detail Design & Lead Ship Construction and 45 months between the RFI and start of construction of OPC#5. After as much planning and effort has gone into the design of these ships, that has got to be wrong.
The fourteenth OPC will not replace the last 210 until fourth quarter FY2032. That 210 will be over 63 years old. The last 270 decommissioned will be at least 48 years old. I’m sorry, that is ludicrous.
Something is terribly wrong here. Why are we paying for multiple detail designs? This will mean we will have at least two class, even if they may look alike. Did Eastern never complete the detail design as they were contracted to do? Why not demand the detail design as a condition of contract relief? These ships are long overdue. Where is the sense of urgency?
The RFI below does seem to open some additional possibilities including awarding contracts for construction to more than one yard, construction of more than two ships per year, and block buy contracting.
The possibility of multiple detail designs from multiple shipyards, “…the USCG intends to release a solicitation for multiple-award, Government-funded Industry Studies to prospective prime Shipbuilders for an OPC Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) contract” is troubling and raises the possibility of a proliferation of detail designs within the class that is certainly undesirable.
If we persist in this slow approach to construction of the rest of the class, perhaps we should make them faster, quieter, and better armed so they would make better warships if we have to engage in a major naval conflict in the future.
Request For Information: