or three years prior to that in preparation for the
award [to Integrated Coast Guard Systems, a joint
venture of Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin,
to serve as lead system integrator]. We had the
requirements that were added on [post-9/11]. We’ve
got a Fast Response Cutter [FRC] that is coming to
critical design review this fall and we expect to be cutting steel on it shortly thereafter. We now understand
all those costs. Before, they were estimates based on a
system that was crafted by a lead system integrator.
We’re now in the driver’s seat [after taking over as lead
system integrator] and we understand what the costs
are, we understand the capability, plus we’re delivering assets.
We’ve now decided to take more of an asset-based
view. … We now have real assets to do estimates on in
terms of future projections, and those are becoming
increasingly in focus for us. Plus, we understand how
some of the interactions work. … We now know what
an FRC is. We now know what an NSC is, what the
cost is. We understand the cost. We understand the
How is the economy affecting the Coast Guard
in terms of contract bids and buying parts?
RÁBAGO: As an organization … we’re in a much better
position to make decisions about what we want to do
and what can be afforded in terms of requirements, and
then what kind of affordable solutions are available to
us. We recognize that we have to manage those requirements so we can produce affordable assets, not only
affordable to buy initially as an acquisition cost, but also
affordable enough for the lifecycle as well.
Our acquisition organization is to the point now
where we are able to do that in a much better way than
we ever have before, so I think where those commodity prices go, where the variability goes, the costs, we
have an acquisition organization that will be as responsive and get the most capability for the taxpayers’ dollars as best we can. ■
SEAPOWER / AUGUST 2009