Rendering of the Coast Guard's Offshore Patrol Cutter. The cutting of steel started the fabrication and assembly of the cutter’s hull, and ESG is to complete keel laying of Chase […] Florida-based Eastern Shipbuilding Group has cut the first steel for the US Coast Guard’s (USCG) second offshore patrol cutter (OPC). Coast Guard Awards Eight Contracts for Industry OPC Studies, Austal USA of Mobile, Alabama: $2 million base award ($3 million total potential value), Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine: $2 million base award ($3 million total potential value), Bollinger Shipyards Lockport of Lockport, Louisiana: $2 million base award ($3 million potential value), Eastern Shipbuilding Group of Panama City, Florida: $1.1 million base award ($1.2 million potential value), Fincantieri Marinette Marine of Marinette, Wisconsin: $2 million base award ($3 million total potential value), Huntington Ingalls, Inc. of Pascagoula, Mississippi: $2 million base award ($3 million total potential value), Philly Shipyard of Philadelphia: $2 million base award ($3 million total potential value), VT Halter Marine of Pascagoula, Mississippi: $2 million base award ($2.9 million total potential value). Aug. 3, 2020 —. But the cutter's design is unstable, its schedule optimistic, and its cost estimate incomplete—making it likely that building it will take longer and cost more. OPCs have an estimated average procurement cost of … The awardees may also identify possible design or systems revisions that would be advantageous to the program if implemented, with strategies to ensure those revisions are properly managed. The current OPC DD&C contract is for up to four hulls. Published: Sep 30, 2020. GAO is making eight recommendations to the Coast Guard and DHS, including ensuring that the program stabilizes its design before proceeding with construction of the next OPC, updates its schedule to address deficiencies and incorporate risks, and updates its cost estimate to improve its credibility. (Recommendation 4), Recommendation: The DHS Secretary should ensure the DHS Under Secretary for Management directs the Coast Guard, prior to approval of construction start for OPC 3, to identify the associated cost, schedule, and operational risks of the program's testing strategy for stage 1; and document these analyses in an updated test and evaluation master plan. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 2020. Published: Oct 29, 2020. The Coast Guard divided the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program into two stages and revised its cost and schedule goals following widespread disruptions from Hurricane Michael in October 2018, which led the shipbuilder to request … On Oct. 18, 2019, the Coast Guard released a request for information to gauge industry interest in re-competing the remainder of the OPC … Published: Dec 16, 2020. The damage inflicted on the Eastern Shipbuilding facilities by Hurricane Michael in October 2018 resulted in the sea service granting relief to the shipbuilder, reducing its planned construction to four OPCs instead on nine and deciding to recompete the remainder of the OPC … The cost estimate used to inform the program's new cost goals did not include key analyses called for in best practices for developing cost estimates GAO identified. Industry studies contracts were awarded to: Under their respective contracts, the awardees will assess OPC design and technical data, provided by the Coast Guard, and the program’s construction approach. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 2020. Additionally, the OPC has been touted as a next generation ship, and the most technologically advanced vessel the Coast Guard has ever operated. Official Publication of the Navy League of the United States. Unstable Design. The U.S. Coast Guard updated the technical library and provided a draft solicitation for the offshore patrol cutter (OPC) on Oct. 9.This draft solicitation contains information for potential offerors about the bidding process and award evaluation factors for the follow-on Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information. Coast Guard officials describe the OPC and PSC programs as the service’s highest acquisition priorities. These awards support the Coast Guard’s strategy to mitigate OPC program risk and establish a new, fair and open competitive environment to complete the OPC program of record. Incomplete Cost Estimate. GAO was asked to review the status of the OPC acquisition program. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 2020. The Coast Guard opened access to the offshore patrol cutter (OPC) technical library Aug. 3. Provides the midrange capability in the Coast Guard's layered defense concept, filling the role between the NSC and FRC and replacing the service's two classes of aging medium endurance cutters. Archives are available for Navy League Members and Seapower subscribers on the Navy League website. The steel cutting for offshore patrol cutter (OPC) Argus (WMSM-915) was a significant milestone for the company even after it sustained damage and work interruption due to Hurricane Michael. (Recommendation 5), Recommendation: The Commandant of the Coast Guard should ensure the OPC program updates its shipbuilder and government schedules for OPCs 1 through 4 to (1) fully address deficiencies identified in the shipbuilder's schedule, and (2) fully incorporate schedule risk analysis in accordance with schedule best practices. OPCs have an estimated average procurement cost of about $411 million per ship. The Coast Guard accepted significant risk with the design, schedule, and cost—both before and after the hurricane—to get the cutters built quickly. GAO Says Coast Guard OPC Design Unstable, Schedule Optimistic. Delivery of the second OPC, to be named Chase, is scheduled to occur in 2023. The OPC will provide a capability bridge between the national security cutter, which patrols the open ocean in the most demanding maritime environments, and the fast response cutter, which serves closer to shore. Published: Sep 29, 2020. These awards support the Coast Guard’s strategy to mitigate OPC program risk and establish a new, fair and open competitive environment to complete the OPC program of record. These key analyses include varying assumptions to determine how sensitive the estimates are to various factors and quantifying the effects of potential risks. [27] On September 7, 2017, it was announced the USCG exercised a fixed-price option to procure long lead time materials for the first Heritage-class cutter. Notional OPC design is 360-feet long, a 54-foot beam, and 17-foot draft. (Recommendation 3), Agency Affected: Department of Homeland Security: United States Coast Guard, Recommendation: The Commandant of the Coast Guard should ensure the Coast Guard Component Acquisition Executive revises Coast Guard's acquisition policy to include criteria and a methodology for demonstrating design maturity for shipbuilding programs that are aligned with shipbuilding best practices, including specifying the completion of basic and functional designs and maturing critical technologies to a TRL of 7. Publicly Released: Jan 19, 2021. The Heritage-class OPCs are named after cutters that played a significant role in the Coast Guard's history. In these types of shipbuilding programs, words like “technologically advanced” often go hand-in-hand with design changes, technology changes, and risk. The Coast Guard awarded the company a $110-million contract to design the OPC and build the first hull, with options for eight more ships. (Recommendation 8), Looking for more? The Coast Guard is using a deliberative, two-phased design-build strategy to acquire the OPC. This could further delay schedules and increase costs. Offshore Patrol Cutter Program Moved Forward Despite Major Risks. Other nations are beefing up their fleets, he noted, including in the Indo-Pacific region, Adm. Karl Schultz noted during a speech at the Surface Navy Association’s annual symposium, which was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The awardees will also discuss how they would prepare the OPC functional design for production. Publicly Released: Jan 21, 2021. The Coast Guard divided the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program into two stages and revised its cost and schedule goals following widespread disruptions from Hurricane Michael in October 2018, which led the shipbuilder to request relief from certain requirements under contract. Coast Guard Off Shore Patrol Cutter - Courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding Group “This is the largest acquisition in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard. Construction on the first ship in a new class of US Coast Guard cutters started with a steel cutting ceremony at Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s facilities in Panama City, Florida, on January 7. Instructions for accessing the OPC technical library can be found as Notice USCG-OPCSTAGE2-2020 at beta.sam.gov. Suite 200 The Coast Guard authorized the start of construction for the first two OPCs despite not having a stable design, which, says GAO, is inconsistent with shipbuilding best practices. The Coast Guard’s now-under-construction and rapidly emerging Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) ship will hit the ocean next year, bringing new strategic and tactical dimensions to homeland defense, multi-service data-sharing and many pressing maritime security These awards support the Coast Guard’s strategy to mitigate OPC program risk and complete the program of record by establishing a new, fair and open competitive environment to complete the OPC program of record. The Coast Guard and Eastern Shipbuilding Group commenced cutting steel for the first offshore patrol cutter (OPC), Argus, in Panama City, Florida, Jan. 7, 2019. Further, the revised post-hurricane delivery dates for the first four OPCs are optimistic and do not fully incorporate schedule risks, increasing the likelihood that the OPCs will not be delivered when promised. The 25-hull OPC fleet is intended to replace the Coast Guard’s current fleet of 29 medium-endurance cutters, some of which were built during the Vietnam War. Fax: 703.528.2333, Hospital Ship Comfort Arrives in New York City, Medical Center Seeks Marine Corps Command’s Help to Manufacture Ventilator Splitter. The OPC will feature increased range and endurance, more powerful weapons, a larger flight deck, and improved C4ISR equipment, and will accommodate aircraft and boat operations in higher sea states. Published: Jan 21, 2021. GAO reviewed Coast Guard program and contract documents, analyzed Coast Guard data, and interviewed Coast Guard and DHS officials. The first OPC was funded in FY2018. (Recommendation 7), Recommendation: The Commandant of the Coast Guard should ensure the OPC program improves its risk management processes to follow the format and include content as indicated in DHS acquisition policy and Coast Guard guidance, including (1) holding monthly risk management board meetings and updating its risk register regularly; (2) revising the risk register to include the risks we identified in this report—proceeding into construction with an incomplete 3D model, conducting late operational testing, challenges with ESG's scheduling practices, and challenges with ESG's accounting system; and (3) revising the risk register to comprehensively track risk management information. The OPCs will bridge the capabilities of the national security cutters, which patrol the open ocean, and the fast response cutters, which serve closer to shore. Published: Oct 20, 2020. (Recommendation 1), Agency Affected: Department of Homeland Security, Recommendation: The DHS Secretary should ensure the DHS Under Secretary for Management directs the Coast Guard to include in OPC's acquisition program baseline for stage 2 OPC's delivery dates when the stage 2 acquisition program baseline is established and approved at ADE 2B. WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard has awarded eight offshore patrol cutter (OPC) industry studies contracts, the service announced in a release. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) announced the award of Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) industry studies contracts to eight shipbuilders on March 20. Deficient and Optimistic Schedule. Recommendation: The DHS Secretary should ensure the DHS Under Secretary for Management directs the Coast Guard to revise OPC's acquisition program baseline for stage 1 to include OPC's delivery dates. Seapower The Coast Guard needs a major injection of additional funding to keep pace with global challenges, the service’s commandant said Jan. 13. Under this revised plan, the current shipbuilder will build up to four OPCs in the first stage, while the acquisition of the remaining 21 OPCs will be awarded under one or more new contracts starting in fiscal year 2022 in the second stage. The Coast Guard's determination to deliver the OPCs in a timely manner has driven the program through key acquisition decisions despite significant design, testing, schedule, and cost risks, which remained or were exacerbated after the hurricane (see figure). Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2020. Our 8 recommendations could help set the program on a better path. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 2020. The Coast Guard plans to acquire 25 OPCs. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 2020. Prior to the construction award for OPC 1, the OPC program's schedule has contained significant deficiencies that are contrary to what is called for in best practices for developing schedules that GAO identified. 2300 Wilson Blvd. Toll free: 800.356.5760 Overlapping Programs Could Better Collaborate to Share Information and Identify Potential Security Gaps, Most Acquisition Programs Are Meeting Goals but Data Provided to Congress Lacks Context Needed For Effective Oversight, Actions Needed to Improve National Vessel Documentation Center Operations, Information on Federal Agencies' Process for Acquiring Private Land for Barriers, TSA Needs to Establish Metrics and Evaluate Third Party Testing Outcomes for Screening Technologies, DHS Has Opportunities to Improve Its Component Acquisition Oversight, Additional Actions Needed to Strengthen FEMA's Individuals and Households Program, FEMA Individuals and Households Program Applicant Data 2016 – 2018, Select Disaster Profiles for FEMA's Individuals and Households Program 2016-2018, DHS Could Use Available Data to Better Plan Outreach to Facilities Excluded from Anti-Terrorism Standards, Cybersecurity Challenges Facing the Nation – High Risk Issue, Ensuring the Effective Protection of Technologies Critical to U.S. National Security Interests - High Risk Issue, Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, National Flood Insurance Program - High Risk Issue. The Coast Guard today awarded an indefinite quantity, indefinite delivery contract to Mare Island Dry Dock LLC of Vallejo, California, for the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star service life extension project (SLEP), as part of the In-Service Vessel Sustainment program. The Coast Guard—a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—is planning to spend over $12 billion to acquire a fleet of 25 OPCs. Browse all our products here, Explore our Key Issues on Homeland Security. Published: Oct 28, 2020. (Recommendation 2), Recommendation: The Commandant of the Coast Guard should ensure the OPC program demonstrates that the OPC design for stage 1 is stable prior to approval of construction start for OPC 3 by (1) completing ESG's basic and functional designs and (2) maturing the davit technology to a TRL of 7, consistent with shipbuilding best practices. Omitting these analyses undermines the credibility of the estimated program costs, increasing the risk that decision makers do not have a complete picture of the full range of costs the program could incur. The Coast Guard authorized the start of construction for the first two OPCs despite not having a stable design, which is inconsistent with shipbuilding best practices. Based on their analyses, the awardees will recommend to the Coast Guard potential strategies and approaches for the follow-on detail design and construction (DD&C). The Coast Guard’s now-under-construction and rapidly emerging Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) ship will hit the ocean next year, bringing new strategic … Acquisition of the offshore patrol cutter (OPC) is the Coast Guard’s highest investment priority. The U.S. Coast Guard is restructuring their top procurement priority, the Offshore Patrol Cutter Program. The contract was adjusted as part of a request made by the incumbent, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, for extraordinary relief. Arlington, VA 22201-5424, Phone: 703.528.1775 This report examines, among other objectives, how the Coast Guard revised the OPC program after Hurricane Michael and the extent to which the program addressed major risks—particularly in the areas of design maturity, schedule, and cost— before proceeding through key acquisition decisions both pre- and post-hurricane. Coast Guard officials describe the OPC and PSC programs as the service’s highest acquisition priorities. Published: Nov 17, 2020. In 2018, Hurricane Michael devastated the shipyard where construction of the Coast Guard's Offshore Patrol Cutters was about to begin. for the U.S. Coast Guard’s offshore patrol cutter (OPC) #2. WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard has awarded eight offshore patrol cutter (OPC) industry studies contracts, the service announced in a release. After Hurricane Michael—a category 5 storm—significantly disrupted the OPC shipbuilder's ability to continue work in October 2018, DHS granted up to $659 million in extraordinary contractual relief to the shipbuilder. The service needs the 25 new cutters soon to replace others that are more than 50 years old, but the hurricane added delays and cost. (Recommendation 6), Recommendation: The DHS Secretary should ensure the DHS Under Secretary for Management directs the Coast Guard, as it develops the next life cycle cost estimate for the OPC program, to update its cost estimate for stage 1 in accordance with best practices for cost estimation, including: (1) conducting a sensitivity analysis, (2) conducting a risk and uncertainty analysis, (3) reflecting information from the program's most recent technical baseline, and (4) conducting an independent cost assessment of the estimate. Proceeding towards OPC 3 construction before stabilizing the design—including maturing the design drawings of major ship systems—increases the risk of construction rework if changes are needed. The request was a result of devastation caused when Hurricane Michael made landfall in Panama City, Florida, on Oct. 10, 2018. The Coast Guard ordered construction of the second OPC and acquisition of long lead-time material for the third OPC April 2. The Coast Guard will work with ESG to establish new cost and schedule targets under the contract and continue OPC production at ESG’s facilities. Cutter X: Certainly no indication yet that the Coast Guard is considering an additional type of patrol cutter, but something of 1,500 to 2,500 tons, between the size of the OPC and the FRC would offer a way to procure a larger number of cutters with greater range Publicly Released: Nov 23, 2020. The Coast Guard exercised contract options to begin construction of the lead OPC and acquire long lead-time materials for the second OPC on September 28, 2018. This is the component's highest investment priority and will help ensure a variety of missions, such as drug and migrant interdiction, are carried out in offshore waters once its aging Medium Endurance Cutters are decommissioned. The Coast Guard will use the industry studies results to further inform its follow-on acquisition strategy and promote a competitive environment for the DD&C award. The ship, to be named Chase (WMSM-916), is scheduled for delivery in 2023. The OPCs will replace the service’s aging medium-endurance cutters, which are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and operate. The Coast Guard on Friday said it had exercised more than $400 million in contract options toward its ongoing surface fleet modernization, including the construction contract with Eastern Shipbuilding for its first of 25 planned medium-endurance Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPC). The Coast Guard’s proposed Participation in industry studies is not a pre-requisite for submitting a DD&C proposal. Hurricane Michael caused extensive damage to the ESG’s shipyard and the Panama City region. For more information, contact Marie A. Mak at (202) 512-4841 or makm@gao.gov. What GAO Found. Proceeding towards OPC 3 construction before stabilizing the design—including maturing the design drawings of major ship systems—increases the risk of construction rework if changes are needed. Panama City, FL – The keel laying ceremony for the US Coast Guard’s, first of class, Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) ARGUS (WMSM-915), was held on April 28, 2020 at Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s Nelson Street facility. 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