Coast Guard taps vendor team for $11 billion Deepwater contract

Coast Guard taps vendor team for $11 billion Deepwater contract

The Coast Guard today awarded its Integrated Deepwater System contract to Integrated Coast Guard Systems, a joint venture pairing Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp.

Through the $11.04 billion, 30-year contract, the Guard plans to upgrade and replace its aging fleet of 100 cutters and 200 aircraft, deploying the latest communications and IT systems.

The winning Deepwater team will have the first new vessels ready within the next five years, Coast Guard officials said.

Many of the Guard's ships are more than 30 years old, and most of its aircraft are least two decades old.

'The Deepwater program will ensure that the Coast Guard continues to guarantee the nation's maritime security,' deputy secretary of Transportation Michael P. Jackson said.

New sensor and other IT technologies will make the Guard the first line of defense for homeland security; it will identify and intercept targets of interest as far from U.S. shores as possible, Jackson said.

The Guard will replace up to 91 ships, 35 fixed-wing aircraft, 34 helicopters and 76 unmanned surveillance aircraft. The agency will upgrade 49 cutters and 93 helicopters.

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