The Acquisitions Directorate, CG-9, has issued a draft statement of work for Offshore Patrol Cutter Program Industry Studies.
The deadline for comments is short.
A draft statement of work (SOW) was released by the Coast Guard Nov. 22 in support of the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Program. The service is seeking industry feedback; responses to the draft SOW will be used to inform a future solicitation for industry studies to support OPC follow-on production.
The draft SOW can be found here.
The deadline to submit responses to this request is Dec. 6 at noon EST.
For more information: Offshore Patrol Cutter program page
Looking at the draft statement of work, one of the first things I noticed is that it describes the OPC as “360ft LOA and 4500LT.” I think that displacement should be full load. Even at that, it is significantly larger than previously stated. I had previously noted that dimensions and displacement did not seem to correspond, that the dimension for the OPC was larger than the Holland class OPV which are 3750 tons full load, but previous statements indicated that the ships would be 3730 tons full load. This was repeated in the Congressional Research Service Reports. If their full load displacement is actually 4500 tons, that means they are almost exactly the same size as the National Security Cutters which have been variously reported as 4500 or 4600 tons full load.
The draft SOW indicates, “The re-competed contract scope will be to complete the OPC Detail Design and to construct an initial OPC using that Detail Design, with options for constructing up to 10 additional OPCs.”
Section 126.96.36.199 does at least mention the possibility of a block buy.
“The impact of block buys of OPCs as a cost reduction strategy shall be addressed in this section.”
The draft SOW states:
“References Available at Award. The following references will be made available not later than award of the Industry Studies contract.
1. Updated draft OPC System Specification
2. List of Long Lead Time Materials (LLTM)
3. Selected Detail Design Deliverables for information only, including Functional Design artifacts, ABS design review information, Transitional (3D) Design artifacts, Production Design artifacts, Schedules, Test Procedures, and Test Reports. The maturity of the Functional Design artifacts exceeds 95%.
4. Selected Construction Deliverables for information only, including: Equipment Configuration List, Test results, Engineering Change documents, and schedules
5. Selected Non-Proprietary Management Planning Deliverables for information only
6. USCG Notional OPC Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) Schedule
7. Placemat summarizing OPC Functional Design “
Frankly, I don’t see how you could bid on the contract without having this information first.
The notional schedule does not appear to have changed, meaning, if followed, the contract will not be awarded until the end of FY2022, and the first ship (OPC#5) will not be delivered until near the end of FY2026 and the last ship of the class will not be delivered until near the end of FY2037, three years after the previous plan. At that time the youngest 270 would be 56 years old. We will not have fourteen OPCs to replace the 210s until 2032, by which time the youngest 210 will be 63 years old. This is starting to look ridiculous, but it does looks like there may be some flexibility.
“Contractors will evaluate the referenced design artifacts and propose their most cost effective and schedule efficient plan to transition the Functional Design into a Production Design and to construct OPCs per the contract scope described above. “
This has to be very frustrating. We already went through a year of proposal evaluations, a year of competing preliminary designs, and a year of detail design, and now it looks like we are starting over almost from ground zero.
I anticipate these ships are going to cost considerably more than the original Eastern contract or the original benchmark cost. That, and the considerable delay, are a good argument for funding a 12th NSC in FY2020.
Hopefully the contractors would offer options that would depart from the notional timeline and allow earlier completion of the program as a cost reduction strategy.
On the other hand, if we are going to take this much time, maybe we could make the ship a bit faster and better armed, since it appears we are firmly back in the great power competition mode.