Coast Guard Deepwater Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress [December 18, 2006] [open pdf - 107KB]
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 modernized airplanes, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Administration's annual funding requests and overall approach 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, and supporting assets 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. […] The Coast Guard's FY2007 budget requested $934.431 million for the Deepwater program. The conference report (H.Rept. 109-699 of September 28, 2006) on H.R. 5441/P.L. [Public Law] 109-295, the FY2007 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations act, provides a total $1,144.566 million in FY2007 funds for the Deepwater program. H.R. 889/P.L. 109-241, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006, establishes certain reporting requirements for the Deepwater program. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33753