Coast Guard announces award of contract for Fast Response Cutter

WASHINGTON — Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Thad W. Allen, and other Coast Guard senior leaders will announce the award of an $88 million contract to Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., for the design and construction of the Fast Response Cutter, Sentinel-Class patrol boat at 11 a.m., Monday at Coast Guard Headquarters.

The 153-foot cutter, which will be capable of speeds of more than 28 knots, will be built at Bollinger’s shipyard in Lockport, La. This is a firm, fixed-price contract with an economic price adjustment. The approximate maximum value of this contract, if all options are exercised for a total of 34 patrol boats, is $1.5 billion over a period of between six and eight years.

The winning design is based on the Damen 4708, which has conducted operations similar to those the Sentinel Class patrol boat will perform. Using a proven (or parent craft) design will ensure that the Coast Guard receives new patrol boats capable of performing the required missions as soon as possible.

“We feel confident in the design we have chosen for the Sentinel Class,” said Rear Adm. Gary T. Blore, the Coast Guard’s assistant commandant for acquisition. “Providing a patrol boat that will provide superior service to the American public and be crewed by the next several generations of Coast Guard men and women is an extraordinary responsibility.”

The Coast Guard’s Acquisition Directorate followed a disciplined process to determine the award of the Sentinel Class patrol boat project, including a careful analysis of operational requirements; conducting worldwide market research; close consultation with Coast Guard technical authorities; use of third party independent review and an assessment of the most competitive designs put forth by industry in responses to the Coast Guard’s June 2007 solicitation.

“Besides awarding a contract for design and construction of a world-class patrol boat, we have demonstrated the importance of acquisition reforms introduced by our Commandant and how well they are serving the taxpayer,” said Blore.

To meet specific U.S. Coast Guard mission requirements, a stern launch capability and increased speed were incorporated into the winning design. The Sentinel Class patrol boats will be 153-feet long, capable of speeds exceeding 28 knots, and armed with one stabilized, remotely-operated 25 mm chain gun and four crew-served .50-caliber machine guns. It will be able to operate independently for five days at sea and be underway for 2,500 hours per year. The FRC will accommodate 22 crew members. A state-of-the-market command, control,communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system will be fully interoperable with other Coast Guard assets as well as those of the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

The first Sentinel-class patrol boat will be delivered to Coast Guard District Seven, based in Miami, in the fall of 2010. It will complete a comprehensive operational test and evaluation period, and then enter operational service in the Caribbean area of responsibility.

The Sentinel-class patrol boat will provide a superior platfrom from which Coast Guard men and women will save lives, enforce U.S. and international maritime law and ensure national security along the United States’ 95,000 nautical miles of coastline.

More information on the FRC Sentinel-class patrol boat and other Coast Guard aacquisition programs is available on the Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate Web site at http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/sentinel.

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