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Deepwater - Integrated Coast Guard Systems

As Coast Guard deepwater assets continue to age, they place greater demands on the logistics infrastructure. Many system or component manufacturers have or will soon cancel production and support for old equipment and parts. For example, the main engines on the 210' class of cutters are only used by the Coast Guard and a South African railroad-the manufacturer has long since ceased production and support. Similarly, the gas turbine engines on the 378' cutter class are no longer in production and support is dwindling.

A consequence of operating aged assets is the limitations resulting from the old and in many cases obsolete tech-nology inherent in those assets. In addition to hindering operational performance, antiquated technology ultimately increases operating and maintenance costs. A compelling indicator was that personnel costs account for approximately two thirds of the operating costs of a major deepwater cutter.

The cutters the Coast Guard operated in the Deepwater environment include twelve 378' High Endurance Cutters, thirteen 270' Medium Endurance Cutters, sixteen 210' Medium Endurance Cutters, and forty-nine 110' Patrol Boats. Because these assets lack current technology, they are extremely manpower intensive, and require excessive maintenance which detracts from readiness and increases life cycle costs. In addition, the Coast Guard also operated 3 Mature Class Cutters, WWII vessels inherited from the Navy.

In November 1995, the DeepWater Mission Analysis Project completed the DeepWater Mission Analysis Report, a multi-year, in-depth examination of the Coast Guard's responsibilities in the deep water or those missions more than 50 miles offshore. The initial idea behind the report dealt only with the pending retirement of the Coast Guard's 13 largest cutters, the 378-foot Hamilton-class of high endurance cutters.

However, it was soon apparent that the Coast Guard faced a much larger problem. In the first part of the next century, all of the Coast Guard's deep water assets, a total of 43 ships and 113 aircraft, would reach the end of their service lives. Inside this monumental problem, though, was opportunity. Rather than create six separate projects to individually handle the six separate classes of cutters and aircraft involved, the Coast Guard broke with its conventional wisdom and created one all-encompassing project. With all of the missions assigned to all of the assets now on the same table, a "clean sheet of paper" look at the Coast Guard's mix of cutters, aircraft and sensors was now possible. The Coast Guard had the opportunity to examine how to best accomplish each of its missions in the context of a completely integrated system and in terms of the optimal life-cycle cost for the entire system.

The Deepwater Project used commercial and military technologies and innovation to develop a completely integrated, multi-mission, and highly flexible system of Deepwater assets, at the lowest total ownership cost. The Deepwater Project was the largest and most comprehensive re-capitalization effort in Coast Guard history. With the focus on missions, the Project prepared a System Performance Specification (SPS) that describes the fundamental capabilities the service needs to carry out all fourteen missions. For instance, the SPS states the Coast Guard must be able to deploy boarding teams. However, it does not specify how these teams should be deployed (i.e. via small boat, aircraft, or other means).

The benefit of the Mission-Based Performance Acquisition approach is that the industry teams that are competing to develop the Integrated Deepwater System of assets have tremendous trade-space to leverage the gamut of cutting edge technologies and processes in their design concepts. In addition, by including the full range of assets - cutters, aircraft, sensors, communications, and logistics - industry has the flexibility to develop the optimum mix of assets that comprise their Integrated Deepwater System. Another benefit of this approach is that by considering and designing Deepwater assets as components of an overall Integrated Deepwater System, interoperability is built-in from the start.

The new surface platforms would be highly automated with very reliable systems, thereby reducing the need for large crews. Linking these surface and air assets could be a robust satellite-based communications network. This network would provide the capability to transfer voice, data, and video information in both secure and unsecure modes. This comprehensive communications infrastructure would allow sharing of tactical information between all Coast Guard assets and facilities as well as provide deployed assets with real-time access to key operational databases.

For surface capability the existing five classes of cutters initially were intended to be replaced by two classes - a large national security cutter (NSC) and an offshore patrol vessel (OPV). The NSC could be about 4,000 tons and approximately 400 feet in length. It must be capable of 30 + knots, able to defend itself in a low threat environment, and have a reduced radar cross-section. The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) could be about 500 tons and approximately 150 feet in length. The OPV may be able to deploy with manned or unmanned aircraft. This capability made new multi-hull designs that offer greater topside space and improved stability such as SLICE, SWATH, catamarans or trimarans, very attractive.

The Deepwater project utilized a two-phased acquisition approach. The Coast Guard awarded conceptual design contracts to three industry teams on 20 August, 1998. The prime contractors for the Phase I contracts, awarded 20 August 1998, were Litton/Avondale Industries Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) serving as prime contractors. Each industry team consists of a host of subcontractors who provide the gamut of surface, air, sensor, communications, and logistics capabilities. In addition to Deepwater's industry teams, the Coast Guard hired Booz-Allen & Hamilton to serve as an Independent Analysis Government Contractor (IAGC). Essentially, the IAGC was to serve as check and balance in the conceptual design process.

Competition for the Deepwater Program began in 1998, though bids from Boeing Co. and Science Applications International Corp. were subsequently rejected as "noncompliant." The only remaining bidder was a team of Lockheed Martin's Naval Electronics & Surveillance unit in Moorestown, New Jersey, and Northrop Grumman's Litton Ingalls unit in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

On June 25, 2002 the Coast Guard and the Department of Transportation awarded Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS) a contract to build the agency's Deepwater forces - the ships, aircraft, command and control, and logistics systems that protect the United States and support the Coast Guard's many missions. The contract was announced in a ceremony held in Washington, D.C.

The new cutters will be designed with mission and capability growth. Provisions for interchangeable mission modules to enhance flexibility tailored to missions. Stern ramps on all cutters and upgraded 123 PBs enhance small boat launch and recovery operations with less crew. Dramatically improved habitability features include 2/4 person staterooms, fitness centers, lounges, and learning centers.

ICGS - a co-equal partnership of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) - was awarded a contract valued at $11 billion to modernize the Coast Guard's Deepwater assets over a 20-year period. The program's total potential value over three decades is estimated at approximately $17 billion. Deepwater is the largest recapitalization effort in the history of the Coast Guard and will involve the acquisition of up to 91 ships, 35 fixed-wing aircraft, 34 helicopters, 76 unmanned surveillance aircraft, and upgrade of 49 existing cutters and 93 helicopters, in addition to systems for communications, surveillance and command and control.

The ICGS core leadership team managed a fully integrated team operating within common processes and performance management systems. Full participation by the Coast Guard is built into every level and function within the ICGS team.

Lockheed Martin provide advanced, fully integrated command and control system and information network across all the new and upgraded Deepwater cutters, aircraft and associated land-based facilities. Lockheed Martin was also responsible for providing fully integrated manned and unmanned aircraft and the logistics system across the entire Deepwater project.

The cutter design and production work were performed at Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems sector, headquartered in Pascagoula, MS.

The Deepwater Program includes the capabilities-based replacement and/or modernization of the Coast Guard's major cutters and aircraft and their communications, sensors, and logistics infrastructure. It leverages state-of-the-market technologies while incorporating modularity, equipment commonality, and commercial, off-the-shelf equipment to achieve Deepwater's overarching goal of maximizing operational effectiveness while minimizing total ownership costs. Because of the commonalities between the Deepwater and Littoral Combat Ship Programs, opportunities for collaboration at one time seemed abundant.

The complexities of the expanding range of maritime security challenges America will face in the future requires the Navy and Coast Guard to be able to deploy forces with greater agility, adaptability and affordability across the full spectrum of conflict. Pursuing complementary and interoperable approaches allows both the Navy and Coast Guard to attain greater efficiencies and effectiveness. By synchronizing research and development, planning, budgeting, procurement, development of doctrine and operational procedures, training, and execution of operations, each Service can leverage the assets of the other, providing increased capability and maximize value for the American taxpayer. Both the Navy and Coast Guard were committed to the transformation of aging assets to enhance readiness and meet operational challenges. A partnership between the Navy and Coast Guard in this endeavor comported with the National Fleet and the Administration's desire for transformation.

Initially it seemed that cooperation between the Deepwater and Littoral Combat Ship Programs would better enable the Navy and Coast Guard to fulfill their Homeland Defense and Homeland Security commitments, but this did not happen. Deepwater mandates full interoperability with the Navy and NATO allies. (e.g. C4ISR architecture) Deepwater's surface assets will be designed for the crisis-response and smaller-scale contingency missions required of shallow-draft warships in low threat environments. They will have the necessary speed, agility and flexibility to deploy with the Navy and will complement naval capabilities for full-spectrum warfare. For over 200 years the Navy and CG have worked together to attend to America's maritime homeland security needs. In fact, the Navy is already an active participant in Deepwater (e.g. test and evaluation, technical expertise, requirements formulation, research and development, cost analyses, etc). LCS was a concept that warranted the collective input and partnership of the Navy and Coast Guard in development. The focus on scalability, modularity, open systems architecture and commonality of systems by both Deepwater and LCS permited the consideration of multiple options that could benefit both Services. By leveraging the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship research and development efforts, the CG could integrate cutting edge technologies and pursue transformation initiatives that our current budget does not permit. Common support (e.g. training and logistics) will increase operational effectiveness when jointly deployed. On January 16, 2001, in a presentation to the Surface Navy Association National Symposium, the Honorable John Young, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, announced that the Navy will partner with the Coast Guard in LCS development. The scope of the Deepwater/LCS partnership was to be determined over time as the concept matures. Over time, no partnership developed.

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