In May of 2017, Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard warned of a potential Russian checkmate in the artic, a region that holds an estimated 90 billion barrels of oil and about 30% of the world’s undiscovered natural gas. Russia, on top of building military bases, is also building massive nuclear ice breakers and ice breaking tankers for the Arctic trade route, a route Russia believes will one day rival the Suez Canal. Russia is a clear leader in the Arctic with over 40 ice breaking ships in operation, and more in production.
The U.S. currently has only one heavy ice breaker, the USCGC Polar Star in its fleet. The second U.S. icebreaker, the Polar Sea, was commissioned inactive in 2011 and turned into a parts donor for the Polar Star. The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy are due to release a final heavy polar icebreaker request in the second quarter of FY 2018. In order to maintain defense readiness in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, the U.S. Navy is requesting a minimum of two heavy icebreakers.
The United States Navy (USN), in collaboration with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) under an Integrated Program Office, is releasing a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Heavy Polar Icebreaker (HPIB) program.
The draft RFP is for the Detail, Design and Construction (DD&C) of one (1) HPIB cutter, with options for two (2) additional HPIB cutters (N00024-18-R-2210). Support CLINs for Provisioned Items orders to outfit the ships and purchase spares, repair parts, and other special equipment; Engineering and Industrial Services in support of Government systems installation and post-delivery activities; Special Studies for Government-directed engineering tasks; and Crew Familiarization are anticipated to be incorporated into the resultant contract.
It is the Government’s intent that the HPIB be procured utilizing competitive procedures in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) part 15 with an anticipated RFP release in the second quarter of FY18.
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