The Government Accountability Office has upheld three contract award made by the Coast Guard for preliminary and contract design (P&CD) for the service’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) — following two protests filed in February.
The GAO upheld the $65 million in design contracts awarded to Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, La., Eastern Shipbuilding in Panama City, Fla. and General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Bath, Maine for design work for the planned 25 Coast Guard cutters.
Shortly after the February award, shipbuilders Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and VT Halter Marine protested the award, stopping all work until the GAO made a ruling.
HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. currently builds the Legend-class National Security Cutter (NSC) for the service.
“Ingalls Shipbuilding offered the Coast Guard a strong, fully compliant proposal to provide a very capable, cost effective offshore patrol cutter design,” the company said in a statement provided to USNI News on Thursday.
“Our performance on the NSC program is solid evidence of our ability to meet Coast Guard expectations for capability and affordability. We remain disappointed by the Coast Guard’s decision.”
Representatives of VT Halter Marine — also located in Pascagoula — were reached by USNI News on Thursday but did not immediately respond for request for comment.
The OPC program, “is the most important — not just shipbuilding — but the most important acquisition program that the Coast Guard has done in its history,” former Coast Guard commandant Adm. Robert Papp said in February.
The ships — which could be worth up to $11 billion in contracts — will replace the current Famous and Reliance class cutters that have been in the service for several decades.