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Coast Guard awards polar security cutter communication management system contract

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The Coast Guard on Dec. 17 awarded a firm-fixed price contract to L3 Technologies Inc. in Camden, New Jersey, for the design, testing and production of the communication management system (CMS) for the Coast Guard’s polar security cutters (PSCs). The initial value of the award is $2.7 million. Options are available for delivery of additional systems for the second and third PSCs. The contract has a total potential value of up to $9 million if all options are exercised.

The CMS provides a classified and unclassified switching system, common end-user terminals  and software needed to support PSC operations. This C5ISR equipment provides connectivity among the PSC’s radios, modems, cryptographic equipment, classified communication capable user terminals, recording devices and internal voice network equipment.

The CMS will be provided to the PSC shipbuilder as government-furnished equipment (GFE). Acquiring complex systems and components separately from the main production contract and providing them to the prime contractor as GFE is a feature of other major Coast Guard surface acquisition programs, such as the national security cutter, offshore patrol cutter and fast response cutter. By providing critical elements such as cutter boats, radar, weapons and C5ISR systems as GFE, the Coast Guard can better manage configuration and achieve greater systems commonality across multiple asset classes. This strategy also increases the potential for acquisition and sustainment cost savings.

The Coast Guard is recapitalizing its polar icebreaker fleet to ensure continued access to both polar regions and support the country's economic, commercial, maritime and national security needs. PSCs will enable the U.S. to maintain defense readiness in the Arctic and Antarctic regions; enforce treaties and other laws needed to safeguard both industry and the environment; provide ports, waterways and coastal security; and provide logistical support – including vessel escort – to facilitate the movement of goods and personnel necessary to support scientific research, commerce, national security activities and maritime safety.

The Coast Guard and U.S. Navy, through an integrated program office, awarded VT Halter Marine Inc. of Pascagoula, Mississippi, a fixed price incentive (firm) contract for the detail, design and construction of the lead PSC April 23, 2019. Construction of the lead PSC is scheduled to begin in 2021 with delivery planned for 2024.

For more information: Polar Security Cutter program page