The Coast Guard last Friday released the draft request for proposals (RFP) for a new competition for its Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) with revised plans still on track to release the final RFP early in 2021.

A schedule included as part of the Stage 2 draft RFP shows that a contract award for the detail design of the first OPC hull under the new procurement will be in January 2022.

Eastern Shipbuilding Group originally won the Coast Guard contract to build up to the first 11 OPCs but a severe hurricane that slammed into the shipyard’s facilities in Florida in October 2018 and crippled operations led the Coast Guard last year to decide to terminate that contract after the first four medium-endurance cutters are built and, in the meantime, reopen the competition.

Stage 2 refers to the new procurement round for the OPC. The draft solicitation says up to 11 OPCs will be purchased under the new contract. The program of record for the OPC is 25 ships, which bridge the gap between the shorter-range Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) and the high-endurance National Security Cutters (NSCs).

The Coast Guard in March awarded design study contracts to eight shipyards for the follow-on detailed design and construction of the OPC. The awardees include Austal USA, Bollinger Shipyards, General Dynamics [GD] Bath Iron Works, Eastern, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII], Philly Shipyard, Inc., and VT Halter Marine. Those study contracts were for six months.

Bollinger builds the Coast Guard’s FRCs, HII the NSCs, and VT Halter is constructing the new Polar Security Cutter heavy icebreaker.

Responses to the draft RFP are due by Nov. 23.