The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) released a request for information (RFI) for 47-foot motor lifeboat (MLB) service life extension program (SLEP), on Nov. 21.
The Coast Guard is seeking industry comments on the draft statement of work and specification before making a formal solicitation for the contract, which has an estimated value of over $100 million.
The MLB is the Coast Guard’s primary search and rescue platform in surf and heavy weather conditions. The fleet of more than 100 MLBs is approaching the end of its planned 25-year service life, and operational availability has been limited by parts availability and obsolescence issues. The SLEP will extend the useful life of the MLB by 20 years. The original operational capabilities and characteristics of the MLB will effectively remain the same, while efforts to enhance human systems integration will be made where practical.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the Coast Guard to gather industry feedback on the MLB draft statement of work and specifications,” said Kevin Chan, assistant program manager for the MLB SLEP.
The deadline to submit responses is Dec. 15, 2017.
47-foot Motor Lifeboat
The 47-foot MLB is the standard lifeboat of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) built by Textron Marine & Land Systems. The 47′ MLB is the successor to the 44′ MLB.
The 47′ MLB is designed to weather hurricane force winds and heavy seas, capable of surviving winds up to 60 knots (110 km/h), breaking surf up to 6 m (20 ft) and impacts up to three G’s. If the boat should capsize, it self-rights in less than ten seconds with all equipment fully functional.
The boat’s hull and superstructure are constructed entirely from 5456 marine grade aluminum. Designed with a hard chineddeep “V” planing hull, the 47′ MLB exceeds its hull speed. The frame is composed of 17 vertical bulkhead frames, each of which is welded to the deck and hull, and five of which are watertight.
Employing “fly-by-wire” control systems, the boat can be operated from four different locations: two from the enclosed bridge, and two amidships from an open bridge.
Situated less than 1 ft (30 cm) above the water line are recessed retrieval wells, allowing for easier recovery of persons and jetsam, and easier boardings. A watertight survivor’s compartment is equipped for comprehensive first aid. It is situated at the combined center of rotation of the ship.