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In-Service Vessel Sustainment Program

The In-Service Vessel Sustainment program is part of the Coast Guard’s long-term recapitalization and sustainment strategy for the in-service fleet of cutters.

The ISVS program consists of three kinds of projects:

  • Mission effectiveness project – Has four major objectives: sustainment of capabilities; replacement of obsolete, unsupportable or maintenance-intensive equipment; completion of major maintenance; and standardization of configuration items.
  • Midlife maintenance availability (MMA) – A planned part of a ship’s life cycle. Design service life is established with an understanding that a major overhaul will be completed near the midpoint of a ship’s life. MMAs facilitate fleet maintenance and increase each cutter’s availability for its operational commander during the second half of the design service life.
  • Service life extension project (SLEP) – Addresses specific systems and major maintenance to extend the service life of the vessel beyond the original design service life. A SLEP is not designed to increase a ship’s capability; it only extends the service life of the cutter by replacing obsolete, unsupportable or maintenance-intensive equipment and by seeking standardization of configuration issues.

Current ISVS projects:

  • Service life extension project for the 140-foot Bay-class icebreaking tug, to restore mission readiness and extend the service life of this nine-cutter fleet by approximately 15 years. The fleet was commissioned between 1978 and 1988, with most hulls operating beyond their planned 30-year service life. Critical reliability and supportability issues have severely degraded the fleet’s mission readiness. Planned efforts include repair of corroded and damaged hull plating, structural refurbishment and replacement of unsupportable or maintenance-intensive equipment. The Coast Guard has completed three vessels’ SLEPs and begun work on two more. Work on Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay began in May 2016, and work on Coast Guard Cutter Sturgeon Bay began in October 2016.
  • Service life extension project for Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, the Coast Guard’s sail training ship. This project is being carried out in four phases so the ship can remain available for its summer training missions each year. The first phase, which began September 2014 and ended May 2015, included habitability upgrades, hazardous material remediation and other maintenance. Phase 2 took place from September 2015 to March 2016 and included continued berthing area renovations and a mainmast inspection. In the third phase, which began in September 2016, the ship will undergo hull plate renewal, continued lead coating abatement and habitability improvements. The last phase will begin in September 2017 and will include a replacement of the main propulsion system. The goal is to extend the service life of individual systems by 15 years.
  • Midlife maintenance availability for 225-foot Juniper-class seagoing buoy tender (WLB), to ensure the vessels achieve the full 30-year designed service life. The fleet was commissioned between 1996 and 2004, so many are beyond the midlife point, with 11 to 19 years of service. Planned efforts include completion of hull and structural repairs and replacement of obsolete, unsupportable or maintenance-intensive equipment, including updates to machinery control system, propellers and HVAC systems. Coast Guard Cutter Oak, the first 225-foot seagoing buoy tender and the first vessel to undergo an MMA within ISVS, completed three months of work in October 2016. The second WLB to undergo an MMA, Coast Guard Cutter Willow, entered the Coast Guard Yard in July 2016.
  • Service life extension project for the 47-foot motor lifeboat (MLB), to reduce support costs and improve operational availability. The service life extension work will significantly overhaul up to 107 of the service’s 117 47-foot MLB fleet and has been reassigned to the Boats Acquisition Program to take advantage of the program’s subject matter expertise. This project is currently in the design phase and will provide the fleet with effective oversight for future upgrades, maintenance and logistics planning. The SLEP will renew the propulsion, electrical, steering, towing, navigation, and hull and structural systems, among other work.

Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore arrived at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, March 25, 2019, to begin its midlife maintenance availability as part of the In-Service Vessel Sustainment (ISVS) Program.

Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Bay departed from the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, Dec. 11, 2018, following completion of its service life extension project (SLEP) as part of the In-Service Vessel Sustainment (ISVS) Program.

The Coast Guard released a request for proposal (RFP) Nov. 21, 2018, for the 47-foot motor lifeboat SLEP as part of the ISVS Program. The RFP is available here.

 Program Information