New Generation Long Range Interceptor Boats for NSCs

U.S. Coast Guard long range interceptor (LRI) coming aboard into the notch at the stern of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750). 12 August 2009. U.S. Coast Guard Photo ID 090812-G-3421D_212_LRI, by PO2 Jetta H. Disco

It looks like the Coast Guard is preparing to procure their third generation Long Range Interceptors for the National Security Cutters. Marine Link reports,

“On March 2 the U.S. Coast Guard updated a pre-solicitation notice, originally from November 2021, regarding purchase of 15 Long Range interceptor cutter boats. These will become the 3rd generation cutters for the expanded National Security Cutter fleet. (Search SAM.gov, use ID 70Z02322R93250001.)

“The important change updates publication of the Request for Proposal (RFP). That document was expected in January or February. Now, the expected release is April or May 2022.”

The last contract for Long Range Interceptors I was aware of was reported in 2012 for eight boats.

“First full rate production cutter boat large delivered to Coast Guard fleet” –CG-9

The first full rate production cutter boat large, hull 22335, is delivered to Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless in Pensacola, Florida, Feb. 7, 2022. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Acquisitions Directorate (CG-9) reports,

The Coast Guard accepted the first full rate production cutter boat large (CB-L) with delivery of 22335 to Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless in Pensacola, Florida, Feb. 7.

This is the fifth CB-L delivered. The first four were used to refine the design and configuration and for operational test and evaluation to validate that the vessel meets Coast Guard operational demands. An additional 17 CB-Ls are on order. The program of record is for up to 36 CB-Ls.

These 36 boats are intended to operate from the USCGC Alex Haley (WMEC-39), USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30), 14 Reliance class 210-foot medium endurance cutters, 16 Juniper class 225-foot seagoing buoy tenders for a total of 32 ships. So, looks like the intention is to provide only one per ship, even for those that have two ship’s boats positions. Sounds like some ships will end up operating two different types of boats.

We talked about this new boat a couple of times back in 2018 when the contract was initiated, here and here.

It appears this boat is closely related to “The Watcher” unmanned surface vessels that the Coast Guard evaluated.

“VESSEL REVIEW | JB41 – MARINE RESCUE NSW’S NEW HIGH-SPEED, ALL-WEATHER RIB” –Baird Maritime

Australian rescue organization Marine Rescue New South Wales (MRNSW) inflatable boat (RIB) by local builder Harwood Marine.

Baird Maritime reports delivery of a new 45 foot, 30 knot boat to Marine Rescue New South Wales (MRNSW), a volunteer organization. This boat, which is comparable to the Coast Guard Response Boat, Medium, has some interesting features.

Most immediately obvious is provision for a secondary conning position in the flying bridge. There is “…a specially designed hydraulic heavy lift platform that drops below the waterline to assist in evacuating people and in the recovery of heavy equipment from the water.” The boat also uses the Swedish Zipwake ride control system, which is claimed to outperform trim tabs.

Coast Guard Special Purpose Craft Law Enforcement Generation II (SPC-LE II)

Photo: Not positive, but this seems to be the boat we are talking about. 

The DOD recently announced a boat contract, awarded through the Navy, that involves boats for the Coast Guard (you have to look pretty far down to find it).

Silver Ships Inc.,* Theodore, Alabama, was awarded an $8,239,095 firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity single award contract (N00024-21-D-2205) for design and construction of up to 110 Navy 8-meter and 11-meter Surface Support Craft and Coast Guard Special Purpose Craft Law Enforcement Generation II (SPC-LE II). Work will be performed in Theodore, Alabama, and is expected to be completed in August 2023. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $51,663,787. Fiscal 2020 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $3,242,628 (39%); fiscal 2021 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $3,187,680 (39%); and fiscal 2021 other procurement (Coast Guard) funds in the amount of $1,808,787 (22%) will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is a small business set-aside. This contract was competitively procured via the beta.sam.gov website, with four offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. (Awarded Sept. 30, 2021)

This is Silver Ships’ announcement.

This appears to be the boat the Coast Guard will be getting. The Coast Guard will get the “Open Center Console (Open) variant.”

Each boat will use three outboards. These are the engines specified in the contract.

Thanks to Paul for bringing this to my attention. He also provided the following that gives more detail: 

C-1 PART 1 – GENERAL STATEMENT OF WORK

This Statement of Work (SOW) defines the effort required for the, design, construction, testing, configuration control, documentation, and program management for the acquisition of the 8m variant,11m variant of the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Surface Support Craft (SSC) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) 11m variant (Special Purpose Craft Law Enforcement).

C-1.1 BACKGROUND

The 8m variant and 11m variant NSW SSC boats operate from inshore littorals to blue water, over the horizon locations, in and up to moderate sea states (NSW) in widely diverse climatic conditions (tropical to arctic). They provide over-watch and coverage for diverse NSW waterborne operations, such as: transit for at sea personnel, water parachute jump, diving, surface swimmer support, medical evacuation and command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence duties. The SSCs also provide support for all NSW garrison locations and allow NSW to certify units for deployment in support of Navy and COMNAVSPECWARCOM requirements.

The USCG will use the 11m SSC variant to conduct counter-smuggling, search and rescue (SAR), recreational boating safety (RBS), and ports and waterways coastal security (PWCS) missions and will operate in higher sea states than the USN variants.

All boat variants are desired to provide comparable to enhanced performance of current capabilities while focusing on commonality to maintain reduction in Total Ownership Costs (TOC).

The NSW SSC requires two configuration variants of the 8m and 11m, Open Center Console (Open) and Enclosed Cabin (Cabin), to support mission needs.

The USCG requires the 11m Open Center Console (Open) variant to support mission needs.

C-1.2 QUANTITIES

The resulting contract will be a 5-year Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for an estimated one hundred and ten (110) total craft. The initial award is for an estimated fourteen (14) boats.

C-2.2.1 Boat – The Contractor shall provide the boat and trailer in accordance with the Specification

(Attachment 1).

C-2.2.2 UID – The Contractor shall provide UIDs for each boat in accordance with Attachment 6.

C-2.2.3 Boat Specific Technical Data Package (TDP) – The contractor shall provide for each boat one (1) hard copy and one (1) electronic copy (CD/DVD) of the Final 11m OPEN USCG Variant TDP developed under CLIN 1022 specific to each boat.

C-2.2.4 Mercury Verado Engines– The Contractor shall provide three (3) Mercury Verado engines per boat in accordance with the Specification (Attachment 1). The Contractor shall complete the engine break-in in accordance with the Specification (Attachment 1) as part of the boat CLIN.

C-2.14 CLIN 1014 AND IF EXERCISED, CLINs 2014, 3014, 4014 AND 5014 – SHIPPING – USCG

STATION SAN DIEGO, CA and also USCG STATION SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX;  USCG STATION MIAMI, FL; USCG MARITIME LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADEMY, CHARLESTON, SC.

The Contractor shall deliver the boat to the location specified in Section F (Deliveries or Performance) and in accordance with Section C, Part 3. Items not integrated into the boat shall be wrapped in protective packaging or container and shall be shipped to the same location either with the boat or via separate shipping.

C-2.18 CLIN 1018 AND IF EXERCISED CLIN 4018 – CREW FAMILIARIZATION (USCG) SAN DIEGO (and the locations listed above)

The Contractor shall provide crew familiarization and training for USCG personnel at San Diego, CA. Crew familiarization shall include craft operations, main equipment operations and maintenance. This shall include Contractor and/or OEM training and component change out for engines, electrical, and HM&E systems. At a minimum training shall be two (2) full days at End User‘s location for up to ten (10) students. The Contractor shall provide all training materials.

“US Navy has ordered up to 35 11-meter Navy Special Warfare Rigid Inflatable Boats” –Eight for the Coast Guard?

11-meter Navy Special Warfare Rigid Inflatable Boat. (Picture source USMI Boats)

Navy Recognition reports,

The 11-meter Naval Special Warfare Rigid Inflatable Boats (11m NSW RIBs) are constructed of composites with an inflatable tube gunwale made of reinforced fabric. They can operate in heavy seas and winds of 45 knots. The 11m NSW RIB carries a crew of three and a SEAL element (eight passengers) in its Naval Special Warfare role and is used increasingly by Naval Expeditionary Warfare in a marine interdiction/visit board search and seizure (VBSS) role, organic to LPD 17-class ships, with a Navy crew of three and a Marine Corps boarding team. The Navy VBSS variant includes a lifting bail for launch and retrieval from LPD 17-class ships.

There was a bit of a surprise in report,

This contract combines purchases for the Coast Guard (23%) (Emphasis applied–Chuck) and foreign governments as assigned by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in accordance with Building Partnership Capacity and Foreign Military Sales programs.

I am just guessing, but 23% of 35 boats would be eight. I might also point out that the Bertholf class National Security Cutters can launch 11 meter boats from their stern ramps. They could probably carry two.

Of course this does not mean SEAL teams will be operating from Coast Guard Cutters. We should not assume that. Its a boat, probably a good boat.

These could also be going to security teams

Navy buying boats for the Coast Guard

33-foot special purpose craft-law enforcement (SPC-LE) small boat crew from Coast Guard Station Key West, Fla., pulls alongside CGC Eagle in Atlantic April 13,2012.Several types of SPCs.SPC-LE ideal platform to interdict drug smugglers’ go-fast boats can plane in under 3seconds top speed 60mph+.Enclosed heated air-conditioned cabin has shock mitigating seats, reducing fatigue, capable of operating more than 30 miles from shore. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill

Defence Blog reports that the Navy will be buying some boats for the Coast Guard, as well as boats for Naval Special Warfare Command. The boats for the Coast Guard are of a type already in the Coast Guard inventory. They are typed, “Coast Guard (USCG) Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement II (SPC-LE II).”

I presume that since the Navy is paying for these, they will be used by the two Maritime Force Protection Units that escort Ballistic Missile submarines (SSBNs) during surface transit to and from bases in Kings Bay and Bangor.

The boats are described by the Acquisitions Directorate (CG-9) as follows:

A new, high-speed boat to interdict smugglers’ “go-fast” craft, the SPCLE is derived from the proven U.S. Department of Homeland Security 33-foot Defender-class boats. The SPCLE features three Mercury Verado 275hp outboard motors, a zero to plane time under three seconds, and a top speed of more than 60 miles per hour. The fully enclosed heated and air conditioned cabin, with as many as six shock mitigating seats, reduces crew fatigue and allows operations in heavier seas. With a forward gunner’s station and increased operational range, the 33-foot SPCLE is an ideal law enforcement platform.

Characteristics

Length: 35.4 feet
Beam: 10 feet
Draft: 30 inches
Displacement: 11,960 pounds
Maximum Speed: 60+ knots
Range: 250 nautical miles
Crew: six

The report talks about 110 boats total but does not provide a breakdown to indicate how many will be going to the Coast Guard. It is possible this will be a replacement for the boats described above, similar but perhaps not identical. The will be powered by three outboards. There is a listing here that provides information on how they will be outfitted.

“Coast Guard engages industry on boat acquisitions” –CG-9

Petty Officer 2nd Class Dale Veverka, a boatswains mate, Seaman George Degener, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Post, a machinery technician, conduct maneuvers on the Coast Guard Cutter Northland’s “over-the-horizon” small boat during transit to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, April 9, 2008. UNITAS exercise, a multinational naval exercise the helps tests the interoperability of U.S. and foreign naval forces. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA2 Nathan Henise.

The Acquisitions Directorate made a presentation at the 2019 International WorkBoat Show Dec. 6, 2019, discussing future acquisitions.

The 19 slides that accompanied the presentation provide a good overview of the Coast Guard’s current and planned future fleet of small boats, in addition to covering contracting procedures and considerations. They also offer expectations for the fifth generation Over the Horizon boat, the new trailable navigation boat, and the third generation Long Range Interceptor.

It appears the Coast Guard may not be entirely happy with the existing solutions to the interface between cutter boats and the “notch” in the stern of cutters. The 17th slide (labeled 16 in the lower right corner) is titled “Discussion Topics.” It appears the Coast Guard is seeking improvements including “Decrease failures from notch-impact” and “Notch-Friendly Propulsion, Alternatives to waterjets.”

FY2019 Budget


US Capital West Side, by Martin Falbisoner

With a bit of help from a friend, the actual FY2019 budget documents were located:  “The Joint Explanation” and “The Conference Report.”

I found the Joint Explanation easiest to wade through. The Budget breakdown is found on pages 65 to 69 of the 612 page pdf.

Note in some cases I have rounded to the nearest $0.1M


Our total Coast Guard FY2019 budget is $12,015,921,000. This is $91,803,000 less than last year, but $577,720,000 more than the budget request.

The Operations and Support allocation is $7,808.2M. That is $434.9M more than last year (a 5.6% increase), and $215.1M more than requested.

I have provided information on the PC&I budget below including a complete list of line items that I was unable to provide before.

PROCUREMENT, CONSTRUCTION, AND IMPROVEMENTS (PC&I) $2,248.26M

Vessels and Boats

  • Survey and design:                      5.5M
  • In service vessel sustainment:   63.25M
  • National Security Cutter:              72.6M (Follow up on ships already funded)
  • Offshore Patrol Cutter:                  400M (Second of class + LLTM for third)
  • Fast Response Cutter: 340M (Six Webber class including two for PATFORSWA)
  • Cutter boats                                       5M
  • Polar Security Cutter:                     675M (First of class + LLTM for second)
  • Waterways Commerce Cutter:           5M
  • Polar sustainment:                            15M (Polar Star Service Life Extension)

—-Vessels Subtotal:  $1,581.35M

Aircraft

  • HC-144 Conversion/Sustainment:         17M
  • HC-27J Conversion/Sustainment:         80M
  • HC-1330J Conversion/Sustainment:   105M
  • HH-65 Conversion/Sustainment:           28M
  • MH-60 Conversion/Sustainment:         120M
  • Small Unmanned Aircraft:                        6M

—Aircraft Subtotal:  $356M

Other Acquisition Programs:

  • Other Equipment and System:                                               3.5M
  • Program Oversight and Managemen:                                    20M
  • C4ISR                                                                                    23.3M
  • CG-Logistics Information Management System (CG-LIMS):   9.2M

—Other Acquisitions Programs Subtotal:   $56M

Shore Facilities and Aids to Navigation:

  • Major Construction; Housing; ATON; and Survey and Design: 74.51M
  • Major Acquisition Systems Infrastructure:                                 175.4M
  • Minor Shore                                                                                      5M

—Shore Facilities and Aids to Navigation Subtotal:  $254.91M

The PC&I total, $2,248.26M, was $446.48M less than FY2018, but it was $361.51M above the budget request.

R&D was cut by almost a third. This is probably a place to spend more not less.

Reserve Training disappeared as a separate line item, so I can’t tell what happened there.

Also included in the new budget is $5M for the National Coast Guard Museum

Incidentally, the total amount appropriated for the polar security program includes $359.6M (FY2018 and prior) + $675M (FY2019), or $1,034.6M, of which $20M is for Long Lead Time Material for the second ship, and the remainder is for the first ship and other program-related expenses.

With Operations and Support up more than 5% over 2018 and Procurement Construction &Improvement (PC&I) over $2B for the second year in a row, this is the kind of budget we can live with. It just needs to keep happening.

NAIS for Command and Control/”The USCG RDC & Electronic Aids To Navigation”–Marine Link

Marine Link has an excellent overview of the increasingly useful Nationwide Automated Identification System (NAIS) and the R&D Center’s role in its development.

As for the Coast Guard’s own use of the system, we have this press release from FLIR.

WILSONVILLE, Ore., October 16, 2018 – FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced today that it has been awarded a contract from the United States (U.S.) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in support of the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) Second Generation Automatic Identification System (AIS-2) program. The indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract has a ceiling value of $9.9 million to provide second generation Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders, associated peripherals, and spare parts for nearly 1,774 boats and 282 cutters in the USCG’s active fleet.

The government anticipates the purchase of vessel class-specific kits and spare parts to equip all USCG vessels with AIS-2 over the next five years.

“We are pleased to provide AIS hardware and software technology to support the US Coast Guard’s mission,” said Jim Cannon, President and CEO at FLIR.  “Our technology will provide enhanced levels of secure communication and coordination between Coast Guard boats, cutters, and shore stations (emphasis applied–Chuck). This award further extends our technology partnership with the Coast Guard, providing next-generation communication capabilities to complement their Raymarine SINS-2 navigation systems.”

I was a little surprised to see reference to secure communications in conjunction with AIS because I don’t associate those two things, but it is apparent we are finding new uses for the system, including as a blue force locator.

It looks like we will be putting these systems on even our smallest boats. Ran across a study that may provide an indication (Note this is apparently a Russian URL) of where we are going with this.