The Coast Guard issued a notice yesterday to Austal USA, the offshore patrol cutter (OPC) Stage 2 contractor, to proceed on detail design work to support future production of OPCs. The Coast Guard issued the notice following the withdrawal of an award protest filed in July with the Government Accountability Office by Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc.
On June 30, the Coast Guard awarded a contract to Austal USA to produce up to 11 offshore patrol cutters. The initial award is valued at $208 million and supports detail design and long lead-time material for the fifth OPC, with options for production of up to 11 OPCs. The contract has a potential value of up to $3.3 billion if all options are exercised.
The Coast Guard’s requirements for OPC Stage 2 detail design and production were developed to maintain commonality with earlier OPCs in critical areas such as the hull and propulsion systems, but provide flexibility to propose and implement new design elements that benefit lifecycle cost, production and operational efficiency and performance.
The 25-ship OPC program of record complements the capabilities of the service’s national security cutters, fast response cutters and polar security cutters as an essential element of the Department of Homeland Security’s layered maritime security strategy, the Coast Guard said. The OPC will meet the Coast Guard’s long-term need for cutters capable of deploying independently or as part of task groups and is essential to stopping smugglers at sea, interdicting undocumented non-citizens, rescuing mariners, enforcing fisheries laws, responding to disasters and protecting ports.
For more information: Offshore Patrol Cutter Program page