Coast Guard Deepwater Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress [Updated February 20, 2007] [open pdf - 1008KB]
From the Summary: "The Integrated Deepwater Systems (IDS) program, or Deepwater program for short, is a $24-billion, 25-year project to replace and modernize the Coast Guard's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. It is the largest and most complex acquisition effort in Coast Guard history, encompassing 91 new cutters, 124 new small surface craft, and 244 new or converted airplanes, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The Deepwater program has received a total of about $4.4 billion through FY2007, including about $1.14 billion in FY2007. The Coast Guard's proposed FY2008 budget requests $836.9 million for the program. The Coast Guard is pursuing the Deepwater program as a system-of-systems acquisition project, under which a combination of cutters, patrol boats, aircraft, supporting communications equipment, and logistic support is to be procured as a single, integrated package. To execute this system-of-systems acquisition approach, the Coast Guard is using a lead system integrator (LSI) - a private-sector entity responsible for designing, building, and integrating the various elements of the package. Potential options for Congress regarding the Deepwater program include but are not limited to the following […]: track and assess the changes that the Coast Guard has stated it will implement regarding management and execution of the Deepwater program; institute additional or stricter reporting requirements for the Deepwater program; encourage or require the Coast Guard to implement recommendations for the Deepwater program made by third parties that the Coast Guard has not already agreed to implement; encourage or require the Coast Guard to do certain things […]; and prohibit the obligation or expenditure of some or all FY2008 funding for the Deepwater program until the Coast Guard or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) takes certain actions or makes certain certifications regarding the Deepwater program."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33753