The U.S. Coast Guard released draft specifications for the river buoy tender and inland construction tender variants of the waterways commerce cutter (WCC) in a special notice on Oct. 15.
The WCC program also plans to exhibit and present updates at the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans Dec. 4-6. The program will have a booth and provide information about its mission needs, status, and desired fielding schedule during a presentation Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to noon CST. Additionally, a team of program members will be available to meet one-on-one with interested ship construction and design teams consisting of shipyards with design capability or ship designers teamed with shipbuilders. The deadline to request a meeting is Nov. 11.
Both the draft specifications and the one-on-one meeting request link are available here.
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.