October 6, 2022
Based in Colorado Birdon America Inc. has been awarded a $1.187 billion contract to design and build 27 Waterways Commerce Cutters (WCC) for the US Coast Guard (USCG).
After responding to the first Request for Proposals (RFP) in July 2021, Birdon invested in developing and refining a fully compliant, comprehensive, low risk, and best value solution for the USCG. The pre-award investment included comprehensive in-tank testing and preliminary design approval by the American Bureau of Shipping.
The WCC contract includes two separate but related vessel designs: the River Buoy Tender (WLR) and the Inland Construction Tender (WLIC). Both variants are complex, modern and designed to military standards. The new cutter design is expected to provide up to 11 days of accommodation and habitability for up to 19 crew members. The 27 vessels will be built over a 10-year period beginning with an 18-month design finalization period.
WCC vessels are essential to maintaining and protecting the United States intra-coastal and domestic maritime transportation system. The system spans 12,000 miles of commercially active inland waterways through which 630 million tons of cargo move each year, representing more than $5.4 trillion annually and 30.7 million jobs. for the US economy. To support the safe and efficient flow of economic activity along these rivers, lakes, intercoastal waterways and US ports, WCCs establish and maintain more than 28,200 inland Federal Aids to Navigation (ATONs).
Additional missions include search and rescue (SAR), maritime security, protection of the marine environment, and security of ports, waterways and coasts.
Careful selection of strong US suppliers with proven performance and a reputation for high quality is a mainstay of Birdon’s approach. Birdon is committed to delivering for the USCG and is proud that more than 98% of its suppliers are American companies, a fact that will not only bring economic benefits back home, but mitigate the risk of supply chain delays. supply.
Birdon leverages its experience and expertise in program management, design, manufacturing and support of USCG and US Army watercraft programs, partnering with carefully selected partners. Bollinger Shipyards (Bollinger) and Incat Crowther will be Birdon’s primary contractors and will share Birdon’s commitment to deliver for the USCG. The entire delivery team will work under Birdon’s integrated and standardized leadership model, which has been proven in many multi-site projects in the United States and abroad.
Bollinger has a long history of building ships for the USCG, delivering 174 ships in the past three decades alone. Bollinger will subcontract the production of bare hulls to Birdon. All of Birdon’s production activities will take place in Lockport, Louisiana.
Birdon has established a successful track record with the US Coast Guard over the past three years through its existing contract for the 47-foot Motor Rescue Boat Life Extension Program.
“We are confident that we represent a low-risk, high-performance, long-term partner for the Coast Guard in the WCC program,” said Birdon CEO Jamie Bruce. “Birdon and our partners Bollinger and Incat Crowther look forward to continuing our successful relationship with the Coast Guard for years to come.”
Birdon’s experience in engaging and successfully executing major US defense programs is essential. Winning the contract is testament to Birdon’s track record of delivering the results required for our customers through an unwavering focus on designing fully compliant, operationally superior vessels that meet our customers’ needs today and in the future. the future.