Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS)
Oceaneering International [of Upper Marlboro, Maryland] is providing systems engineering and integration support for the SRS. Oceanworks, Inc. [of Vancouver, California] is the detailed designer and fabricator of the Pressurized Rescue Module. Southwest Research Institute [of San Antonio, Texas] is also working on the program.
The Atmospheric Diving Suit (ADS) Segment of the SRDRS is a Non-Developmental Item (NDI) which is procured via a sole source contract. The Submarine Rescue System (SRS) segment of the SRDRS is largely based on the use of Commercial -Off -the- Shelf (COTS) technology and maximum use of Non-Developmental Items (NDI). The SRS segment is being procured using performance based specifications. Many of the SRS contracts were awarded competitively, based on technical capability and cost considerations (best value). Program Management of SRDRS was initially accomplished through the use of SEA 00C leadership of an Integrated Product Team (IPT). Program Management of SRDRS was later accomplished through the use of Program Executive Officer, Submarines (PEO SUB) leadership. This change was enacted in February 2003 realigning the responsibility from SEA00C to PEOSUB. The Prototype system will provide full operational capability and no additional procurement is planned. The system is designed to be a Government Owned/Commercially Operated (GO/CO).
On 08 October 1996 the US Department of Defense announced that it had selected 37 projects to receive Fiscal Year 1997 funding under the Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) Program. The FCT Program tests and evaluates foreign non- developmental items from US allies and other friendly nations to determine whether the equipment can satisfy US armed forces requirements or correct mission area shortcomings. Foreign non- developmental items offer cost-effective alternatives to new, and perhaps unnecessary, US developmental efforts and reduce the time to field equipment needed by the warfighter. By evaluating foreign alternatives, FCT stimulates competition from US manufacturers; however, safeguards are in place to ensure that US manufacturers are not placed at any disadvantage and that US industrial base issues are considered.
Emergency Evacuation Hyperbaric Stretchers [EEHS] were developed by GSE Trieste (Italy) and SOS Ltd (UK), these portable, collapsible chambers provide casualty evacuation from a submerged submarine to land-based hospitals. This FCT evaluation will determine whether the items meet requirements for integration into the Navy's Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS). This system is a portable and collapsible pressurized stretcher that provides a means of transporting diving personnel suffering from decompression sickness or gas embolism to a recompression treatment chamber. The EEHS provides a ready means of quickly recompressing the casualty at the dive site and transporting the casualty under pressure to a recompression chamber or a land based/hospital hyperbaric facility.
The NEWTSUIT is a lightweight atmospheric diving system developed by International Hard Suit, a Canadian company, which allows divers to work comfortably and safely in water depths down to 1,000 feet. The system relies on pressure balanced rotary joints to provide advanced range of motion in the limbs. The FCT evaluation was to determine whether NEWTSUIT meets a Navy requirement for the Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS). One Newtsuit was purchased and evaluated by a Navy Field Activity - Coastal Systems Station (CSS). The evaluation concluded the product had minor flaws but great potential to become a valuable Navy tool. Specifically, the Newtsuit could not meet all of the Navy mission and certification requirements, including a desire for a deep operating depth.
NAVSEA PMS395 subsequently procured a total of 4 Atmospheric Dive Systems (ADS) as part of the Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS) Phase II (Engineering and Manufacturing Development) of the acquisition process. The ADS is a hard diving suit that allows a pilot to dive to depths up to 2000 fsw without the adverse effects of sea pressure. Initially, PMS395 attempted to purchase the ADS as a Commercial-Off-the-Shelf product from the private company International Hard Suit. The vendor was interested in a deeper operating depth and an expanded commercial market and was thus willing to "Team" with the Navy for an improved design that would meet both parties' needs. The first suit was delivered to the Navy in 1998 and underwent training in a 20 foot pool. Prior to training, three certification surveys were conducted. All deficiencies reported were determined to be correctable. The vendor was awarded a contract to build three additional suits with delivery of the follow-on suits scheduled for July 2000. International Hard Suit was later purchased by OceanWorks International, a privately held US company headquartered in Houston, Texas, and subsequently operated under the name OceanWorks International Corporation [OWC].
FY 1998 accomplishments included continued acquisition of and acceptance testing of the prototype Assessment/Underwater Work System. The year also saw award of the contract for fabrication of the prototype Submarine Decompression System, and completion of the preliminarydesign of the Pressurized Rescue Module. The FY 1999 plan called for continued acceptance testing of the prototype assessment/Underwater Work System, and continued fabrication of the prototype Submarine Decompression System. The FY 1999 plan also called for solicitation for detailed design and fabrication of the Pressurized Rescue Module, and completing the design and awarding the contract for Submarine Decompression System support equipment.
Each of these subsystems will be phased in. As of 2000 this would start with the Atmospheric Diving Suit in 2001. With this suit, divers can dive to 2000 feet, conduct an initial rapid assessment, deliver Emergency Life Support Stores, and prepare the hatch for mating. As of 2000, the Submarine Decompression System, which includes two air transportable chambers capable of treating 62 patients simultaneously, was to be delivered in 2001. The final element of this system is the Pressurized Rescue Module. Also air transportable, it will be capable of diving to 2000 feet, recovering up to 16 rescuees under pressure, and mating directly to the Decompression System. As of 2000, two of these modules were to be delivered in 2003 and 2005 respectively.
The SDC-1 and SDC-2 Surface Decompression Chambers were under a Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP) contract through Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center [NFESC]. Contract completion date (CCD) remained 31 August 2003, but this deadline was missed. As of January 2007 delivery was slated for early 2007, nearly four years after the original deadline. Liquidated damages were assessed per the FAR. A significant Request for Equitable Adjustment (REA) was submitted and denied within NAVFESC. Further adjudication or financial liability to program was not included in controls as of early 2007. A Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP) contract (FAR 16.202) is appropriate when the statement of work (SOW) can be well defined and there is sufficient time to announce, select, negotiate and award a contract. A FFP contract minimizes the Government's risk and administrative burden. Other types of fixed-price (FP) contracts may be appropriate at times. A Cost-Reimbursement [CR] contract (FAR 16.3) is used when uncertainties in the SOW do not permit the costs of performance to be estimated with sufficient accuracy to use a FP contract. The most common CR contract types are cost-plus-award-fee (CPAF; FAR 16.305) where the contractor's fee (same as profit in a FP contract) is dependent on certain performance criteria, and cost-plus-fixed-fee (CPFF; FAR 16.306) where the contractor receives a fixed fee, independent of actual costs.
On 28 January 2005 the Naval Sea System Command (NAVSEA) announced that it intended to contract with Oceaneering International, Inc. (OII) 501 Prince George's Boulevard, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774 for the effort required to plan, organize, control, coordinate and oversee all Systems Design, Engineering and Integration (SE&I) activities relating to the development, production, integration and testing of the Submarine Rescue System (SRS). In addition to its role as the SRS SE&I Agent, options will be included for OII to fabricate, test and deliver the Deck Transfer Lock (DTL), Gas Racks, Manway elements and other miscellaneous equipment for the Submarine Rescue System (SRS). OII has continually provided management and engineering support to the Navy since the inception of the Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS) Program. Award to any other source would result in substantial duplication of costs to the Government and create unacceptable delays in the US Navy's ability to deliver a fully capable SRS.
On 16 January 2006 Oceanworks International continued its role in the forefront of international submarine rescue as it took delivery of the main hull component of the new US Navy Submarine Rescue Vehicle at its North Vancouver, BC, Canada. The 2 meter diameter hull was fabricated to OceanWorks design in San Antonio, Texas and completed pressure testing to a depth of over 900 meters at the US Navy pressure test facility in Maryland. Following delivery, now commenced installation and testing of the sophisticated life support, propulsion and advance control systems prior to undertaking sea trials later in 2006 in Indian Arm and Jervis Inlet, BC, Canada.
On 01 May 2006 the Naval Sea System Command (NAVSEA) issued competitive solicitation N00024-06-R-4204 for services to manage, maintain, mobilize and operate the Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS). The SRDRS will be operated and maintained as a Government-Owned and Contractor-Operated/Maintained (GOCO/CM) system based at the Deep Submergence Unit (DSU), San Diego, CA. The Contractor will provide the personnel, tools, equipment, air/land/sea transportation and vessels of opportunity (VOO) required to mobilize, operate and maintain the SRDRS and its ancillary support and connectivity equipment in support of at-sea worldwide submarine rescue operations, training and related exercises. Additionally, the Contractor will be responsible for procuring, fabricating and/or providing all tools, equipment, spares, repair parts, components, consumables, etc., required to operate, maintain, upgrade, refurbish, and/or overhaul the SRDRS.
On 29 September 2006 Phoenix International, Inc., Landover, MD, was awarded a $6,206,105 cost-plus-award-fee Level-of-Effort (LOE) contract for engineering and technical services required to operate and maintain the Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS). Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by September 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $5,152,868, will expire at the end of the fiscal year 2006. This contract was competitively procured and advertised via the Internet, with two proposals received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-06-C-4204). On 12 June 2007 OceanWorks International announced the launch of the new US Navy Submarine Rescue System, the Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM). OceanWorks designed and manufactured the remotely operated submarine rescue system, which was completing sea trials in local waters. At sea testing and final delivery was expected to be completed early in the Summer of 2007, and the new system is intended to replace the existing US submarine rescue asset, the DSRV Mystic.
The Naval Sea Systems Command announced [Solicitation Number N0002407R4145] on 14 August 2007 that it intended to negotiate and award modifications to contract N00024-05-C-4208 with Oceaneering International, Inc. (OII), 7001 Dorsey Road, Hanover, MD 21076, for the fabrication, system integration and testing of the final complement of the Submarine Rescue Diving Recompression System (SRDRS) Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) Capability hardware configuration items of the Submarine Decompression System (SDS). The proposed acquisition of TUP items will include MBS2000 Re-breather modifications, SDS Gas Rack, Deck Transfer Lock (DTL), Pressurized Flexible Manway (PFM) System, Submarine Decompression Chamber (SDC) modifications, Modified Transfer Lock (MTL) modifications and bases, Deck Interconnects, Ship Interface Templates and other miscellaneous equipment of the SDS. Work will be performed at the contractor?s facility in Hanover, MD. As the systems integrator for the SRS/SDS, Oceaneering International, Inc. is the only source with the knowledge, technical data, personnel and facilities necessary to meet the Navy's requirements within the required timeframe.
As of April 2004 the SRDRS Critical design review for the SRDRS rescue vehicle had been expected in FY 2003, with full production expected shortly thereafter. At that time the SRDRS was to be rescue-ready in early FY 2006, and Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) capable in late FY 2006. As of April 2005 the SRDRS was scheduled to be rescue-ready in FY 2006, with a Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) capable in late FY 2007. As of April 2006 the SRDRS was scheduled to be rescue-ready to replace the DSRV in FY 2007, with a transfer under pressure capability introduced in FY 2009. As of February 2007 the SRDRS was scheduled to be rescue-ready to replace the DSRV in 2QFY08 [ie, early calendar year 2008, with a Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) capability introduced in FY 2011. Funding in FY07 and FY08 was provided to continue fabrication and acceptance testing of the prototype Submarine Decompression System and support equipment. Work during this period included completing the design, fabrication and acceptance testing of the prototype Pressurized Rescue Module and support equipment, and begining the integration and testing of all SRDRS components.
As of January 2006, DSRVs were scheduled for Inactivation in FY08.
The SDRS effort evidently experienced some programmatic turbulence in the 2003 time-frame. Whil Program Management of SRDRS was initially accomplished through an Integrated Product Team (IPT), Program Management of SRDRS shifted to Program Executive Officer, Submarines (PEO SUB) leadership in February 2003. The SDC-1 and SDC-2 Surface Decompression Chambers were under a Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP) contract with a contract completion date (CCD) of 31 August 2003, but this deadline was missed. As of January 2007 delivery was slated for early 2007, nearly four years after the original deadline. As of April 2004 the SRDRS was to be rescue-ready in early FY 2006, and Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) capable in late FY 2006. Three years later, as of February 2007 the SRDRS was scheduled to be rescue-ready to replace the DSRV in 2QFY08 [ie, early calendar year 2008, with a Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) capability introduced in FY 2011. That is, over a period of three years the rescue-ready date had slipped by two years, and the Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) target had slipped by five years.
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