NOAA Opens Bids for Shipbuilding Contract
NOAA seeks proposals from U.S. shipbuilders for the design and construction of new ships for the agency. The new vessels will primarily support NOAA’s coastal, continental shelf and deep-ocean data collection requirements.
The solicitation, which closes on August 16, 2022, is for a firm, fixed-price contract for two vessels, with options for NOAA to purchase two additional vessels of the same design. The successful bidder will be responsible for both designing and building the new ships.
To meet NOAA’s requirements, the new ships must have the capability to carry, deploy and recover multiple crewed and uncrewed vessels to support nautical charting and seafloor survey missions. They must be able to accommodate 48 people, consisting of commissioned officers, professional civilian crewmembers, scientists and other personnel.
NOAA has set a goal of achieving net-zero emissions for its ship fleet by 2050. To support NOAA’s goal of reducing the agency’s carbon footprint, the new ships must incorporate the latest technologies, including high-efficiency, environmentally friendly EPA Tier IV diesel engines and emissions controls.
NOAA anticipates awarding the contract for this acquisition in 2023 and taking delivery of the first two vessels by 2027. The agency has not yet assigned a homeport for these new ships.