The U.S. Navy, in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) under an Integrated Program Office (IPO), released a request for proposal (RFP) on March 2, 2018, for the advance procurement and detail design for the USCG's heavy polar icebreaker (HPIB), with options for detail design and construction (DD&C) for up to three HPIBs. The IPO is using a full and open competition strategy for DD&C; a single contract award will be made in FY 2019.
On February 21, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acquisition Review Board approved the program to proceed from the Analyze and Select phase to the Obtain phase. This achievement, similar to the Milestone B decision in the Navy's acquisition process,
is the culmination of several years of productive collaboration between the Navy and Coast Guard, regular industry engagement, and research and validation of the design and requirements. As a USCG program, the Heavy Polar Icebreaker Program will follow DHS acquisition guidelines.
The Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Paul Zukunft said, "Today's action marks a major milestone in the collective efforts by the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy to deliver a new fleet of Polar Icebreakers. These multi-mission vessels are key components of our national strategy to advance U.S. interests and to keep pace with the growing volume of commercial activities in the Polar Regions. New heavy Polar Icebreakers are the most effective and efficient way of meeting our current and anticipated mission demands in these critical regions, and I'm ecstatic that we are moving smartly to deliver these national assets to the U.S. Coast Guard fleet."
The IPO is emphasizing responsible acceleration of HPIB recapitalization by incorporating proven concepts to identify solutions that minimize cost, schedule, and production risk. Valuable data on requirements, design, and producibility was collected through industry day events, industry studies, underway research conducted on Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, and scale model ice tank and open water testing. The information collected from all of these efforts and industry comments on a draft RFP are reflected in the formal RFP.