The U.S. Coast Guard announced, on Nov. 21, that the solicitation to replace the capabilities provided by its 18 river buoy tenders and 13 inland construction tenders will be a total small business set-aside.
The acquisition to replace the river buoy and inland construction tenders is part of the Coast Guard Waterways Commerce Cutter (WCC) Program. The Coast Guard is planning to replace the three classes comprising the inland tender fleet with three variants of monohull vessels, meaning self-propelled cutters instead of tug and barge combinations. The configurations of the river buoy tender and inland construction tender WCC variants are expected to be identical except for their hull lengths, bow shapes, working deck layouts and deck equipment, including cranes designed for their mission set.
The WCC Program is still determining its acquisition strategy to replace the capability provided by the Coast Guard’s four inland buoy tenders.
U.S. Coast Guard Waterways Commerce. Cutter (WCC) Program
The Coast Guard established the WCC program to replace the capability provided by its current inland tender fleet which includes 18 river buoy tenders (WLR), 13 inland construction tenders (WLIC) and 4 inland buoy tender (WLI).
With the program, the USCG is planning for three classes of monohull vessels, meaning self-propelled cutters instead of tug and barge combinations. The configurations of these classes are expected to be identical except for their hull lengths, bow shapes, working deck layouts and deck equipment, including cranes designed for their mission set.
The WCC program is working under a heavily accelerated program schedule to reach initial operational capability by FY2024 and full operational capability by FY2030.
The program has released seven RFIs – one each in February 2018, June 2018, October 2018, February 2019 and June 2019,as well as Sept. 5, 2019 and Sept. 17, 2019 – to conduct market research and invite industry to comment on creative, effective and affordable solutions.
The Coast Guard released draft specifications for the river buoy tender and inland construction tender variants in a special notice on Oct. 15, and the top-level requirements for the inland buoy tender variant was released in a special notice on Nov. 6.