The Acquisitions Directorate (CG-9) has issued the draft technical package for the Offshore Patrol Cutter. It was announced on the Federal Business Opportunity website, March 12, 2012.
“The red-lined draft System Specification contains all of the changes that the Coast Guard incorporated as a result of industry comment. This document will be automatically distributed to those companies and individuals that received the draft OPC specification released in May 2011. The other draft documents will be available on the USCG OPC website at: http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/OPC/default.asp“
A two step Acquisition process is expected. First, three contractors will be selected to develop their preliminary designs into fully detailed contract proposals. They will compete for the final award which will include the first OPC and all documentation. It may (and probably will) also include options for follow-on ships. So far, the Coast Guard is saying they will maintain their flexibility regarding who will build follow-on ships.
On the Acquisitions directorate website, you can down load hundreds of pages of technical requirements for the contractors, but don’t expect to find updated information on the specification of the ships. As noted above, revised draft specifications were sent to companies and individuals that received the draft OPC System Specification released in May 2011. Hopefully the Acquisition Directorate will release at least some basic information in the near future.
Still going through the documents yields some useful information of more general interest. The list of Government furnished Equipment (GFE) and Government Furnished information (GFI) tells us about much of the equipment the vessels are expected to carry. (I will not list all the normal items included on every cutter.)
- Mk 48 mod 1 Gun weapon system
- Mk 110, 57mm gun system
- Electro Optical Site Sensor (EOSS), MK 20 MOD 0
- 25mm, MK 38 MOD 2
- Two SSAM gun systems, (remotely operated .50 Caliber)
- IFF, AN/UPX-29A
- AN/SLQ-32B(V)2 (and Mk 53 NULKA decoy system)
- Multi-Mode Radar (air as well as surface? AN/SPQ-9?)
- Encrypted GPS
- CBRN monitoring
Boats: 2 x 7m OTH IV (apparently no 11m boat)
- Visual Landing Aids (VLA)
- Glide Slope Indicator (GLI)
- Wave Off Light Assembly (WOLS)
The Mk48 Mod 0 (www.dtic.mil/ndia/2011gunmissile/Thursday11660_Aswegan.pdf) is apparently the system on the National Security Cutter. Perhaps, the Mk48 mod 1 is simply an improvement, but unlike some of the other components of the system, the AN/SPQ-9 radar is not called out specifically, so this system may not have a radar. It may be that the “multi-mode radar” refers to the AN/SPQ-9. Hopefully that is the case.
A quick scan through the other documents shows that the Coast Guard has not ruled out the possibility of hybrid or integrated diesel-electric propulsion.
“One Line Diagram. During Contract Design the Contractor shall provide the Electric-Drive Propulsion System One Line Diagram (if an Electric Propulsion System or IDE is provided). [235-01-2219]”
Other included systems are:
- Two encrypted computer networks including one for classified material.
- Television systems for both monitoring security and entertainment and training.
- UHF MIL SAT COM Equipment
- A crane for loading stores
- A bow thruster
- An unmanned air system (UAS)
It appears there may also be a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility).
Generally it appears, a much more sophisticated ship that the WMECs they are replacing.
(illustration: French shipbuilder DCNS concept)