The US government’s GAO audit office has issued its 7th annual “Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs report (GAO-09-326SP). The report covers a total of 47 Pentagon weapons programs, compares their baseline against current costs and delivery schedule, and reports on these programs’ technical maturity, manufacturing maturity, and current issues. One interesting aspect of this year’s report is the GAO’s report that newer programs started in the last few years seem to be doing better than their predecessors.
GAO has a definite position with respect to acquisition reform, one that complements recent Pentagon initiatives in some areas, and diverges in other areas…
In 2005, a Liberal Party government promised 2 new classes of vessel as a part of a 5-year plan for the Canadian Coast Guard. Off-Shore Fisheries Research Vessels (OSFVs, essentially an Offshore Patrol Vessel with science facilities onboard) would be accompanied by smaller 37-42m / 121 – 137 foot Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels (MSPVs) that can operate up to 120 miles offshore, and carry 1-2 rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) for use in coast guard duties and fisheries enforcement. In terms of size and capabilities, the MSPVs resemble the US Coast Guard’s Island Class patrol vessels, rather than larger 50m+ OPVs like Australia’s Armidale Class, the USCG’s Sentinel FRCs; or Canada’s 12 Kingston Class 55.3m OPVs, with their secondary mine countermeasures capabilities.
It has been a long road, with an RFP cancellation, requests for industry comments, and a re-assessment of what the budgeted dollars could buy. Budget figures have swung back and forth. Now another RFP has been issued.