Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress [July 28, 2015] [open pdf - 941KB]
"The Coast Guard's program of record (POR) calls for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. The NSC, OPC, and FRC programs have a combined estimated acquisition cost of about $21.1 billion, and the Coast Guard's proposed FY2016 budget requests a total of $449.9 million in acquisition funding for the three programs. NSCs are the Coast Guard's largest and most capable general-purpose cutters. They have an estimated average procurement cost of about $684 million per ship. The first four are now in service, the fifth was delivered on June 5, 2015, and is scheduled to be commissioned into service in August 2015, the sixth and seventh are under construction, and the eighth was funded in FY2015. The Coast Guard's proposed FY2016 budget requests $638 million for the NSC program, including $91.4 million in acquisition funding for the NSC program. OPCs are to be smaller, less expensive, and in some respects less capable than NSCs. They have an estimated average procurement cost of about $484 million per ship. The first OPC is to be procured in FY2018. The Coast Guard's proposed FY2016 budget requests $18.5 million in acquisition funding for the OPC program. […] The NSC, OPC, and FRC programs pose several oversight issues for Congress. Congress's decisions on these programs could substantially affect Coast Guard capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base."
CRS Report for Congress, R42567