The US Coast Guard is currently operating vessels that date from the 1950s and 1960s, and a fleet-wide recapitalization is becoming an urgent priority given its new domestic security responsibilities. That effort is being handled as an integrated, multi-year $25 billion project called Deepwater that encompasses everything from long-range patrol aircraft and UAVs, to new communications and computing backbones, to new ship designs. Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS), a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, has been serving as the program’s overall system-of-systems integrator.
Deepwater has been fraught with difficulties since the program’s inception. The Coast Guard was guaranteed a rough ride due to the issues with its existing fleet and lower status than the military services; its choice of program structure has also received negative reviews (as well as some official reports of improvement) for some time. DID offers some quick pointers to the New York Times and Washington Post articles covering Deepwater, as well as links to additional in-depth background from agencies like the GAO and our own previous coverage.