The Coast Guard released a request for information (RFI) July 18 to gather market research for the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star service life extension project (SLEP) as part of the In-Service Vessel Sustainment Program (ISVS). The SLEP effort will recapitalize a number of major systems – including machinery control and propulsion power distribution systems – and extend the service life of the cutter by four years. The work will include a six-month long lead time material procurement and detailed design phase, followed by a minimum of three annual repair execution phases between 2021 and 2024.
Polar Star, the Coast Guard’s only active heavy icebreaker, was commissioned in 1976. The 399-foot ship is currently responsible for nine of the 11 Coast Guard statutory missions. Each winter, the cutter travels to McMurdo Station in Antarctica as part of Operation Deep Freeze, which supports the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program.
“The SLEP for Polar Star is essential to maintain year-round access to the polar regions until new heavy polar icebreakers are delivered,” said Ken King, program manager for the ISVS program. “The challenge for this program will be to balance phased SLEP work with continued Polar Star operational deployments.”
The deadline to submit responses is Aug. 3, 2018 at 4 p.m. EDT.