GAO has released an interim status report on the Coast Guard’s heavy polar icebreaker acquisition, which confirms that the Navy anticipates awarding the program’s design and construction contract with $150 million that is currently available from fiscal year 2017.
GAO is required to assess the cost of, and schedule for, the procurement of new heavy polar icebreaker vessels, under Section 122 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.
The report confirms that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approved the program’s cost, schedule, and performance baselines in its Acquisition Review Board in February and the corresponding Acquisition Decision Memorandum was signed in March.
The total program threshold reflects the maximum amount the program should cost: $9.827 billion, which includes acquisition, operations, and maintenance costs for the three heavy polar icebreakers over their entire 30-year lifecycle, and GAO will review this on an ongoing basis.
Prior to setting the program baselines, the Coast Guard revised the heavy polar icebreaker’s operational requirements to make the program more affordable by adjusting the range of operating temperatures, reducing science and survey requirements and adding space, weight, and power reservations for Navy equipment.
The Coast Guard solicited proposals for design and construction in March, and GAO is expected to issue another review in the summer.