The Naval Sea Systems Command on Wednesday issued an advance notice advertising the forthcoming release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for up to three heavy polar icebreakers.
The icebreakers will be for the Coast Guard, which is asking Congress for $720 million in the FY ’19 budget request for construction of the first new vessel, which would replace the aging Polar Star icebreaker. Another $30 million is being requested for program management and other activities leading to the detail design and construction contract.
The Coast Guard has a requirement for three heavy and three medium polar icebreakers. In addition to the Polar Star, the service operates one medium polar icebreaker, the Healy.
The advance notice says the RFP will be issued within 30 days although a Navy spokeswoman told Defense Daily earlier this week that the solicitation is expected to be out later in February. The solicitation will cover detail design and construction of the new ships under a fixed price incentive firm contract.
A single award is planned. Currently, five companies are performing design study contracts for the Coast Guard’s heavy icebreaker. The companies are Bollinger Shipyards, the U.S.-based shipbuilding division of Italy’s Fincantieri, General Dynamics’ [GD] NASSCO shipbuilding division, Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII], and VT Halter Marine, which is the U.S.-based shipbuilding division of Singapore’s ST Engineering.
Contract award for icebreaker construction is planned for FY ’19 with delivery of the first vessel in FY ’23. A Coast Guard spokesman told Defense Daily this week that the services expects the cost for detail design and construction of the first ship to be “well under $1 billion.”