The Coast Guard remains on track to release a Request for Proposal (RFP) in FY ’18 for the detail design and construction of the first in a line of new heavy polar icebreakers, a service acquisition official said on Tuesday.United States Capitol

Rear Adm. Michael Haycock, assistant commandant for Acquisition, also said the service is receiving deliverables from the five industry study teams conducting tradeoff studies and analyses for the icebreaker, “which will help us to refine the specification to support delivery of the first heavy icebreaker in late fiscal year 2023.”

Haycock testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

The Coast Guard is requesting $19 million in FY ’18 for its heavy polar icebreaker program, an amount agreed to last week by the House Appropriations Committee, but the service last week sent its unfunded priorities list to Congress that includes $750 million to build the first icebreaker. The Coast Guard said that the funding would help keep the program on schedule and possibly accelerate the acquisition.

The Coast Guard’s requirement is for six new icebreakers, three heavy and three medium.

Haycock also said in his prepared remarks that the Coast Guard is preparing to award a contract in the next few months to Eastern Shipbuilding for long-lead materials for the first Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC). The company won the contract for the first nine medium-endurance OPCs last year. He said the pending award will support deliver of the first vessel in 2021.